There’s a lot of talk, especially in the United States, of the forthcoming Amir Khan vs Marcos Maidana WBA light-welterweight title fight on Saturday night being a battle of Khan’s speed against Maidana’s power.
The fight at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas has even adopted the same name as Floyd Mayweather’s 2005 showdown with Italian-born Canadian legend Arturo Gatti; ‘Thunder vs Lightning’ as the promoters try to make the fight accessible to the American public.
For my money, the bout should be called Thunder vs Thunder as Amir Khan has demonstrated his awesome power on numerours occasions in the past and it’s just something that the American audiences have yet to witness.
Granted that Maidana has 22 wins of his 29 contests, finishing in the first three rounds to Khan’s 12, but Maidana has fought six times more than Khan and its questionable whether his class of opponent could be compared to that of the former Olympic Silver Medallist.
Khan stepped up to Commonwealth Title level after only 13 bouts, stopping Willie Limond over eight rounds as a 21 year-old, a feat beaten by the experienced Erik Morales recently by only two rounds, which shows the level of Khan’s foe’s from an early age.
Five months later, Khan blasted Graham Earl out in 72 seconds, something a 27 year-old Michael Katsidis couldn’t manage as Earl retired after five rounds, ten months prior to taking on “King Khan.”
In his thirteenth fight and fourteenth fights, Maidana was still knocking out club fighters, with 18, 12 and 8 defeats on their record and learning little from his class of opponents until his stepped up in class against Andriy Kotelnik in 2009 and suffered his first defeat.
The fact that Khan despatched Kotelnik in dominant fashion five months later, should have the alarm bells ringing in the Argentinean’s head, as I believe that Khan has as much if not more power in both hands, whereas Maidana seems to rely a lot on his right.
It is true that Khan has a suspect chin and if he does get caught by Maidana, it will be interesting to see what happens if it’s a flush shot. But all in all, I believe that Khan has the better technical boxing skills and combined with his speed, he will make more openings for power punches than the interim champion.
I will stick my next out and say that Khan will stop the Argentinean within six rounds and propel himself onto the cusp of the pound for pound rankings, with the Bolton man being only a unification victory away from breaking the top 10.
Khan v Maidana is live on HBO from 9.30pm and Sky Box Office from around 2am on Saturday night into Sunday morning the 11th/12th December.