By James Slater: Ace trainer Freddie Roach has already gone on record with his prediction on the fast-approaching Amir Khan-Marcos Maidana WBA 140-pound showdown; and Freddie said his man Khan will score a late-rounds stoppage victory.
However, in a recent interview with BBC radio, Freddie went further, saying Khan will in all likelihood win the fight on Saturday, by KO – without having lost a single round all night! Interestingly, Roach also said he feels Khan is the better puncher of the two men..
“We’re ready for whatever this guy brings,” Roach said of the Argentine slugger. “If he wants to be aggressive or if he wants to stand and wait we’re ready. I don’t think we’ll lose a round and I feel we’ll knock this guy out. I feel I have the better puncher of the two, the better boxer and just general all-round better fighter.
“His speed is overwhelming at times and even though this guy has had fast sparring partners they don’t have the speed of Amir.”
There is no doubt Khan is the faster fighter of the two men who will rumble in Ls Vegas this Saturday night, but is Roach wrong to say Khan is the better puncher? No way can I agree with Roach if he means better as in more powerful. But maybe Freddie simply means Khan is a better puncher as in he is more accurate, is not as wild with his shots and because he wastes nothing.
Still, this fight, if it goes the way Maidana thinks it will, will not be determined by who hits more accurately – it will be decided as soon as he connects on Khan’s chin. Maidana has said several times how he is of the belief that the fight will end as soon as he lands cleanly on the chin that Breidis Prescott’s fists shattered just over two years ago – and many fans seem to agree with him.
Certainly, Saturday’s fight represents the toughest test of Khan’s pro career. Not that you would know it going by the comments of Roach. Is Freddie badly underestimating Maidana? Is Freddie truly believing what he is saying? Or is Khan indeed about to silence the doubters for good by way of a comprehensive stoppage victory?
I find this one agonizingly tough to pick, and my prediction of a Khan points win is not made with any degree of certainty. Despite that the odds makers say (Khan is a reasonably comfortable favourite to win), this fight is a genuine 50-50 affair.
Could Saturday’s clash even give us 2010’s FOTY?
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