By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
It’s all about Amir Khan
Former unified WBA/IBF junior welterweight champion Amir Khan (30-3, 19 KOs) headlines a Premier Boxing Series on Spike TV on Friday, May 29, at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, NY. A victory over former WBO junior welterweight champion Chris Algieri (20-1, 8 KOs) could finally land Khan a September 12, date with Floyd Mayweather.
The 28 year-old Khan, of Bolton, England, isn’t thinking about Mayweather, as he is concentrating on the things that Algieri does well inside the ring. Khan also stated that the things he has been working on with trainer Virgil Hunter will be too much for Khan to overcome.
“Algieri is a fighter that has a lot of skills and assets,” Khan said. “His range and height give him good advantages against opponents but I believe with my speed, movement and style it will be too much for him. Each day, Virgil Hunter [and I] are getting stronger and we have built a really good rapport. It takes time to get that but he understands my style even more now and what works for me so we’re only going to keep growing.”
Amir Khan has fought professionally after having won a silver medal for England at the 2004 Olympic Games. Khan has been groomed to become a big name in boxing, but it has not been easy. In fact, Khan was crushed inside one round by Breidis Prescott (September 2008), but still fought his way toward winning a world title.
“My aim since I was a kid and got into this sport was to be the very best,” Khan said. “I fulfilled a dream when I got to the Olympics at 17 and brought back a silver medal. Later I became a world champion and then unified the light-welterweight division. My goal now is to fight the very best at 147 pounds and make my mark on this division too.”
In July 2009, Khan outboxed Anderi Kotelnik to win the WBA junior welterweight crown. He made 5 successful title defenses. He defeated Paulie Malignaggi, Marcos Rene Maidana, and Zab Judah and unified the WBA/IBF 140-pound titles during a U.S. campaign in which Khan also suffered two consecutive defeats: a controversial decision against Lamont Peterson (L 12) and a shocking knockout defeat to Danny Garcia (KO 5).
Although Khan rebounded from the losses by posting four consecutive victories against Carlos Molina, Julio Diaz, Luis Collazo, and a career-best against Devon Alexander last December, many believe that Khan hasn’t done enough to warrant a fight with Mayweather. In fact, Mayweather-Khan has been discussed for two years (almost) because, Khan was passed over as an opponent for Floyd by Marcos Maidana (twice) and Canelo Alvarez.
Also, everyone continues to point at those two losses to Garcia and Peterson.
“The shots I’ve been caught with against Prescott and Garcia were big punches,” Khan said. “Whoever was hit with those shots would have been put down. One thing I can say is I’ve always got up and been stopped on my feet by the referee.”
Not certain that Algieri can provide Khan with a tougher fight that Alexander did last year, but certainly Khan picked an opponent that’s designed to make him look spectacular.
Algieri has only 8 knockouts in 21 professional fights during a seven-year professional boxing career with no amateur boxing fights. The 31 year-old from nearby Huntington, NY became a main event fixture on Joe DeGuardia’s Fight Night series at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, NY.
Algieri became a world champion at the Barclays Center last year June when he survived two first-round knockdowns and a savage beating to outbox Ruslan Provodnikov to win the WBO 140-pound crown. That victory gave Algieri a shot at Manny Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight championship last November in Maccu, China. Pacquiao knocked Algieri down on FIVE different occasions en route to a unanimous decision (120-102, 119-103 twice).
“I know that it gets said all the time, but this was truly the best and most intense training camp of my life,” Algieri said. “Working with John David Jackson has truly been a blessing. He has brought out the best Chris Algieri there is. You are going to see a whole new fighter come Friday night. I am excited to be back in New York and excited to show the world what I am really made of on Friday night. We are just a few days away from the fight and I am so anxious to get in there and get to work.”
Algieri added: “Amir is a tough fighter there is no doubt about that, but I am very confident in my ability and the game plan that coach has come up with for me. You are going to see two proven champions in a high intensity and high level fight, laying everything on the line comes Friday night.”
In addition to Khan vs. Algieri, Javier Fortuna (27-0-1, 20 KOs) and Bryan Vasquez (35-1, 18 KOs) will fight in a 12-round junior lightweight contest. This event is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Star Boxing with live coverage beginning on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.