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Big test for Khan
Can Khan deal with the power of Maidana?
Posted Dec 10, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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Amir Khan faces the biggest test of his career tomorrow night in Las Vegas when he takes on Marcos Maidana in the third defence of the Brit’s WBA light-welterweight crown.
The 24-year-old from Bolton has come a long way since his silver medal at the 2004 Olympics and boasts an impressive record that consists of 23 wins and one defeat – the humbling 56-second knockout suffered at the hands of Bredis Prescott.
I think that defeat has been one of the best things to ever happen to Khan in his professional career but I have the sneaking suspicion that this fight against the hard Maidana may again prove a step too far.
Khan joined trainer Freddie Roach, the guy behind Manny Pacquiao’s success, following his defeat and there is no doubt Khan has learnt from that loss to Prescott, there is no doubt that he has improved since then and there is no doubt that he is a more accomplished fighter. His hand speed has also got quicker and he is less likely to rush into the fight and go searching for that early knockout. He has learnt the art of patience, of picking his moment to pounce and he is reaping the rewards for this.
But there are still questions over his chin and if he is caught by a power shot from the heaviest puncher in the light-welterweight division then it could be curtains for the cocksure Khan.
Just so you are aware of the task presented to Khan, Maidana’s stats read like this: 29 fights, 28 wins, one defeat and all but two of his fights being finished inside the distance.
He is a formidable opponent and although he doesn’t possess the speed of Khan, he has heart, he has desire and he has power.
Khan will be the strong favourite for this bout but I have a sneaking suspicion that it won’t go all his way. The one thing he has to avoid is getting involved in a brawl where they trade shots as there’s only going to be one winner in that instance.
If he can out-box Maidana, if he can use his speed and movement to tire the Argentine and if he can focus and concentrate for the full length of the fight then it’s there for Khan to take.
I hope Khan wins but I’m going to a have a few quid on Maidana as I suspect one decent shot will get through Khan’s guard and that’ll mean curtains for the young Brit. I hope I’m wrong.