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CLICK HERE FOR RINGSIDE PHOTOS OF KHAN VS. MAIDANA
Amir Khan showcased his heart along with his talent and improvements training with Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao in his victory last Saturday night against Marcos Maidana. It was definitely a gutsy and career defining victory for the young Bolton, UK native, but before people get too carried away in hailing Khan as the next big thing, I believe it would be in Khan’s, together with his fans’ best interest to pump those breaks. Khan looked good, he did not look great.
For the record, I scored the fight ringside in favor of Maidana by a point. Two of my friends sitting by me had it the same way while another called it a draw. Regardless, I’m okay with Khan getting the win, I simply think it was closer than the scorecards reflected. Khan was very impressive especially during the first half of the fight. He took Maidana’s big shots in the first round to answer questions about his chin and came back firing blitzing combinations and dropped the tough and rugged Argentinian with a liver shot
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After the victory, Khan’s trainer Roach declared his ward is ready for Floyd Mayweather Jr. A lot of Khan’s die-hard fans were quick to declare him a great fighter and ‘The Next Manny Pacquiao’. I’m sorry. I’ll be Johnny Raincloud right now and rain on this parade, because as impressive as Khan was, he barely escaped with a win. He might have answered questions about his heart, but questions about his chin remains, if not validated. And wasn’t Roach thinking about throwing the towel in the 10th?
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Mayweather will simply pick Khan apart if they fought now. Pacquiao will put him to sleep. For the most part Khan was running and backing up because of strategy, but the rest of the time he was backing up because he was either hurt or did not like the idea of getting hurt. Khan did show a lot of the things he’s learned from Roach and Pacquiao with the way he moved circles around Maidana and how he went in and out with his combinations, but he still needs to learn not to stay on the ropes like Pacquiao does wherein he ate a lot of Maidana’s clean uppercuts and was caught with the overhand right that almost put his lights out.
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Khan is a fantastic talent and his vocal and exuberant fan base is great for the sport. With that said, the kid still needs time to develop. Don’t do him any favors right now pitting him up against names like Mayweather or comparing him to Pacquiao. It almost sounds disrespectful. The 24-year-old Khan should keep moving up the ladders and continue his growth and maturity as a fighter and maybe in time he can truly get to that level. At this point in time however, he simply isn’t there yet. Plus, before he can truly think about any other big names, Maidana deserves a rematch. That should be on top of Khan’s list.
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Dennis ‘dSource’ Guillermo is a freelance sportswriter. You can contact him through e-mail at [email protected]
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