Boxing

Amir Khan: Britain's under-rated star?

Khan doesn't get the recognition he deserves. (©GettyImages)
Khan doesn't get the recognition he deserves. (©GettyImages).

Amir Khan has always been a fighter that splits public opinion.

His record is an impressive 31 fights, 28 wins, and only 3 losses, yet for some reason the British public don't get behind him like they did with Ricky Hatton.

Khan was a stand-out star of the 2004 Olympic games in Athens, where he won a silver medal for Great Britain. Khan turned pro in 2005 and signed with Frank Warren. He won in the first round of his first professional fight with a TKO against fellow British fighter, David Bailey, in his home town of Bolton. Khan went on to win his first 18 fights with ease.

On 6 September 2008 at the Manchester Arena in what was one of the biggest upsets in recent British boxing history, Breidis Prescott faced the favoured British prospect for the WBO Inter-Continental lightweight title.

He defeated Khan after 54 seconds of the first round, handing Khan his first defeat since turning professional. This made many fight fans feel that Khan had a 'glass chin' and lost him a lot of British support.

Not letting the defeat get him down, Khan signed to Richard Schaefer's Golden Boy promotions and employed the widely renowned best trainer in the business, Freddie Roach, launching himself worldwide.

After evolving under Roach's guidance, a faster, slicker Khan got some impressive wins under his belt. Marco Antonio Barerra was the first to be brushed aside, then Khan went on to become the WBA Light Welterweight champion, beating Andreas Kotelnik by a unanimous decision after 12 hard fought rounds.

Next up, a world title defence against Dmitry Salita and the entertaining Paulie Malignaggi, both of which he disposed of with relative ease. Khan had evolved as a fighter and he had propelled himself to the top of the rankings. 

On 11 December 2010, in front of a Las Vegas crowd, Khan came up against the world class Argentinian fighter, Marco Maidana. This fight would go on to be named fight of the year by the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Both fighters left everything they had in the ring and it could have gone either way. Khan came out victorious by unanimous decision after taking some of the hard-hitting Maidana's best punches.

Khan proved to his critics that even if he did have a 'glass chin', it is made of very strong glass! He went on to defend his title against Irishman Paul McCloskey, then the highly-rated American Zab Judah.

On 10 December 2011, he faced the unfancied Lamont Peterson in front of his home crowd in Washington DC. After 12 rounds it was hard to split the two fighters, but being in his home town Peterson got the decision.

Later on it would come out that there was irregularities with the scorecard and Peterson himself would eventually get stripped of the title he won from Khan, having tested positive for synthetic testosterone.

Khan would go on to face up-and-coming fighter Dany 'Swift' Garcia for the vacant WBA title in the Mandalay resort, Las Vegas in front of a packed crowd. Garcia shocked the world and knocked Khan out in the fourth round.

First sending him to the canvas with a crushing hook to the side of the neck, Khan was unable to recover and was knocked down a few more times after that.

After that fight finished, people has given up on Khan. They saw the glass chin as his downfall. A sign of a true champion is to bounce back and that is exactly what Khan did yet again.

He made the decision to fire Roach and appoint defensive expert, Virgil Hunter - who also coaches Andre Ward. As his new trainer and under his guidance, he has gone on to win his last two fights against Carlos Molina and Julio Diaz.

Once again, Khan is on the rise and rumours of a jump up to Welterweight and an eagerly anticipated fight against IBF Welterweight champion Devon Alexander in Dubai later on this year are getting stronger every day.

Will Khan be a world champion again? He certainly has the ability to be. He just needs to defend well and keep the big punchers away from that suspect chin of his, and he could prove himself as one of the most successful fighters ever to have come out of Great Britain.

 

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Topics:
Amir Kahn
Boxing

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