Amir Khan (30-3, 19ko) is once again the focus in sections of the British media this morning, namely The Guardian, although the attention of that focus is once more on the circus surrounding his fight on May 30th, for which, no OFFICIAL opponent has yet been announced.
After the video on his wife’s YouTube channel suggesting it would be American Chris Algieri (20-1, 8ko), who was decked seven times by Manny Paqcuiao the last time he boxed, the ridicule and condemnation from British fans in particular was as such that Khan went into back track mode whilst he waits for the furor to die down.
There is of course one fight that the British fans in particular want to see, and that is against Sheffield’s IBF welterweight champ, Kell Brook (34-0, 23ko) who last week himself announced a fight that has also been deemed farcical by fans.
He will fight Birmingham’s Frankie Gavin (22-1,13ko) on the same date as Khan fights, in a voluntary defence on May 30th on Matchroom Sports PPV London card.
Among fans on social media, debate has raged intensely over both prospected match-ups, and criticism of both Khan AND Brook from different sides of the fence has been fierce.
Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn explained recently to iFL tv’s Kugan Cassius how some of this came about, explaining that the IBF had ordered an eliminator for Khan v Tim Bradley, an opportunity that Khan turned down. The next on the list was Frankie Gavin, and just one week ago, Hearn was “in talks” with Bradley’s promoter Bob Arum, to stage that fight.
Then, as the negotiation deadline of last tuesday for that fight passed, rumours grew ever stronger that rather than fight the eliminator against Bradley, Frankie Gavin would fight the champion himself, and given that Hearn looks after both the Brits, the fight was then made. The decision to add it as headline to a card on PPV attracted even more criticism, yet if you look at Hearn’s logic from a BUSINESS perspective, it seems a perfectly reasonable fight to make.
Whilst boxing IS a business, the far bigger fight in all senses would have been Brook v Khan in a football stadium, in the UK. Hearn still asserts that it is Amir Khan who wants no part of Kell Brook, however and he is on record multiple times insisting he has done all he could, negotiating with Amir Khan’s team to put that fight together.
So, in the meantime we get Brook – Gavin, which is the easy option for Matchroom and Hearn regarding Kell Brook because they keep it all in-house as it were. The quality of the match-up and Brook’s status as an elite fighter, especially among such a division stacked with talent like Thurman, Marquez, Maidana, Bradley is another debate totally however. What is worth remembering is that aside from the “big 2″ Kell is the only other world champion at 147lbs. Which is also why I hope talks of a later defence, post Gavin against the durable but limited Brandon Rios, are just that…..”talks”
So what of Amir Khan? He seems to be the perennial bridesmaid, waiting in line to get that dream mega fight with Floyd Mayweather, however he never seems to catch the bouquet, and with Mayweather having one more September fight after Manny, it’s a fair comment to say Khan needs to beat a currently red-hot guy like Thurman before then. For me it’s a shame it won’t be Thurman as he has has just recently boxed. That’s the other problem for Amir Khan. All the other top guys around him are or have recently been busy. He didn’t want the Bradley fight either, so who else is there for him? Maidana again? I don’t see him taking that fight in honesty? He likes to fight guys that can’t punch as of late which is why I didn’t get why he didn’t fancy Bradley?
It looks like it’ll be Algieri and then we won’t see Khan until well after his period of fasting for the Muslim festival of Ramadan. Showtime didn’t want that fight, so the British fans aren’t alone in our condemnation of it. Its possible it’ll go to another channel, but for the business side and mechanics of getting a decent fight, it looks like Amir Khan is in trouble for May 30th.
He should have just fought Kell Brook. Oh well, the wait goes on.