By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Amir Khan makes Barclays Boxing debut against Huntington-favorite
British boxing sensation and former unified world champion Amir Khan (30-3, 19 KOs) returns to New York for the first time since defeating Paulie Malignaggi five years ago. Khan, on Saturday, May 29, will make his Brooklyn in-ring debut at the Barclays Center when he battles former WBO junior welterweight champion Chris Algieri (20-1, 8 KOs).
Khan vs. Algieri will be televised live on SPIKE TV at 9 PM/ET.
“I have happy memories of New York having made my successful U.S. debut there against Paulie
Malignaggi in 2010,” Khan said in a statement. “I’m delighted to now be fighting there once again against another champion in Chris Algieri. Algieri has shared the ring with some tremendous fighters and shown great skills in those fights so I know I will need to be at my very best when we meet. In all my fights I bring excitement, speed and skill and can guarantee more fireworks on May 29 at Barclays Center.”
Khan was the former unified WBA/IBF junior welterweight champion, but consecutive losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia in high-profile HBO fights has damaged his credentials as one of boxing’s elite superstars. However, since the losses, Khan, under the work of Virgil Hunter (trainer/godfather of WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward), has improved fighter and is enjoying a recent run of success.
Khan, 28, Bolton, England, has won four consecutive fights against Carlos Molina, Julio Diaz, and former world champions Luis Collazo and Devon Alexander. Khan’s win against Alexander last December was his most impressive since he knocked out Zab Judah in July 2011. In that fight Khan, who won nearly all twelve rounds, was fast with his hands and sharp with his punches. Khan boxed extremely well around Alexander, who surprisingly had no answer for Khan.
Khan, a silver medalist at the 2004 Olympics, has a lot of momentum heading into his fight with Algieri, who won his first world title at the Barclays Center last year.
“I am very excited to get back into the ring and to be fighting here in New York,” said Algieri. “Fighting at Barclays Center, where I won my world title just under a year ago is an added bonus. Amir Khan is a tested champion and is the matchup that I wanted. I believe this is a fight that will bring the best out of me.”
Algieri is a home-grown product fighting out of Huntington, NY. The 31-year-old has fought all 20 of his professional bouts in the New York/Long Island area. His only loss was when he left the country last November to fight WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao at the Venetian in Macau, China.
Algieri’s biggest victory occurred in June 2014 at the Barclays Center when he won a controversial ‘gift’ against Ruslan Provodnikov for the WBO 140-pound title.
Khan has faced a lot of criticism for not taking tougher fights, as he continues to wait patiently to fight either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. Khan has negotiated fights with both camps, mainly the Mayweather camp, but hasn’t been able to secure a fight with either one.
It took Khan over one year before he finally fought Alexander because he was waiting on Mayweather. Khan defeated Collazo in May 2014, but wasn’t in a rush to fight anyone else. It was only when Khan realized that Mayweather and Marcos Rene Maidana would do a rematch last September and that Pacquiao was fighting in China in November that he decided to finally face Alexander last December.
A lot of people are shocked that Khan is fighting Algieri because, IBF welterweight champion and fellow Englishman Kell Brook has been pressuring Khan to fight him for more than a year. Brook impressed the U.S. boxing media by cleverly out-boxing previously unbeaten Shawn Porter to win the IBF 147-pound crown.
Khan will continue to ‘coast’ through carefully-matched opposition en route to securing a long-awaiting showdown with either Mayweather or Pacquiao. It will be fun and exciting to see if anyone can derail Khan the way Garcia and Peterson did years ago. Khan is expected to blaze through Algieri, but it’s going to be another fun night at the fights.
“I am thrilled to be returning to Barclays Center for another terrific PBC event,” stated Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Amir Khan is hands down one of the biggest names in the sport. Coming off a huge win over Devon Alexander, Khan is on the short list to participate in a future mega fight. He must first get by the hometown fan favorite, Algieri. This is a fight that Chris wanted. He is looking to show the world that he belongs, at the arena where he shocked the world and upset Ruslan Provodnikov for a world title. We expect an electric atmosphere come May 29th.”
Tickets for Khan vs. Algieri, promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Star Boxing, are priced at $250, $150, $75 and $45 and are available at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com and at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. For group tickets, please call 800-GROUP-BK.