By James Slater – Interim WBA light-welterweight champ Marcos Maidana, despite having to overcome a much tougher challenge from DeMarcus Corley than expected, has lost none of the belief that he will knock out “real” WBA ruler Amir Khan next. If he can get him into the ring, that is.
Maidana, who improved to 29-1(27) with the gruelling points win over “Chop Chop,” looked to be on the verge of exhaustion in the later rounds, as veteran Corley fought one last great fight. Hanging on to clinch the unanimous decision victory, the Argentine kept alive his chances of facing big star Khan next.. The 27-year-old power-puncher blamed his relatively poor showing on his tactics of putting everything into his work in an effort to get the KO, and says he will learn from the fight. But will Khan, who surely will have watched Saturday’s fight, now feel he has the class, the boxing skill and the speed to be able to give the Argentine a boxing lesson?
Go back a few months, to the time when Khan was accused of running from Maidana, and most fans would have told you Maidana how would crush the weak-chinned Brit if he managed to get him into a ring. But now, in light of how hittable and predictable Maidana looked against Corley, will these fans have changed their minds?
Despite his suspect chin – the one that was obliterated by another somewhat crude but powerful fighter in Breidis Prescott – Khan, it must be agreed, is a far superior boxer to Maidana. Faster, more naturally gifted and slicker, Khan, if he can avoid the big punch, is capable of outclassing most anyone at 140-pounds. But that big punch is the thing; the big equalizer – and Maidana has it. Will Khan “man up,” as he’s been implored to do, and take on the man who has been on his tail for months now?
In speaking to fight news.com, the interim champion isn’t so sure Khan will agree to face him on the talked-of December 11th date.
“I don’t want the boxing fans to be tricked by Khan’s team’s statements,” Maidana said. “I always wanted to face Khan and they ran away from me. Now it’s the time, so let’s make it. I made it clear that it’s a lie that I was offered to fight Khan last July. I was offered to fight [Tim] Bradley back then and I had to decline because my former manager offered me little money and lied about me having a back injury.
“But that’s water under the bridge. Now Khan has to fight or else quit his title and recognize that I’m the absolute champion.”
Khan, who wanted a fight with the now-busy (against Michael Katsidis) Juan Manuel Marquez in December, seemingly has no other option but to grant Maidana his wish: either by fighting him or by giving up his belt.
For what it’s worth, however, I now see Khan-Maidana as a fight that either guy could win. At one point I felt Maidana would get the stoppage, but he had such a time with Corley that a Khan points win, or even late stoppage, cannot be written off.