Editor’s view: Maidana II / Thurman the only saving graces for Khan

Phil Jay 30/03/2015
Marcos Maidana

Ed Mulholland / HBO

Amir Khan’s continued suggestions that British rival Kell Brook is not a ‘big enough name’ in America for him to fight are beginning to look more and more unreasonable by the day.

The US-based former Olympic silver medallist is still turning his nose up at the prospect of facing Brook in what would be a massive earner for both fighters at a sell-out Wembley Stadium – meaning all eyes will be on who gets the nod for Khan’s next fight.

Recent baffling reports have linked Khan with a potential May scrap with ex-Manny Pacquiao foe Chris Algieri, which is hard to fathom given the alternative that awaits against Brook on June 13. Khan v Brook would be as big, if not bigger than the last big UK bout to grace the arena when Carl Froch knocked out George Groves in May 2014.

That contest was the most lucrative pay-per-view card to ever grace the British Isles, so if Khan is actually considering Algieri next, a fight that would struggle to find any interest in the UK, it makes the mind boggle at the Bolton man’s decision.

To say Brook is not even known Stateside is also a statement that doesn’t ring true as Brook ended the unbeaten run of the talented Shawn Porter on those shores last August and has since taken out Jo Jo Dan who was promoted by American operator Lou DiBella.

A lot of what is currently being batted around is not making sense and makes Khan look as though he is just avoiding Brook in favour of opponents that would be easily dealt with and keep him on the path to be considered for the winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao on May 2.

It’s a dangerous game for Khan to play, given that Mayweather and Pacquiao are more than likely to fight two or three times due to the enormity of their scheduled event, and in turn would mean either would not be available until at least 2016.

By that time, Brook v Khan may have gone off the boil, which could leave the two British rivals, along with the fans, left wondering what might have been. The pair need to strike whilst the iron is hot in my eyes and get this fight done in order to extend the momentum that has been enjoyed in recent times with the best taking on the best.

So who does Khan face if not Brook? – Well, it certainly can’t be Chris Algieri if any good can come from the Brook fight being turned down. Maybe Khan could get away with a Brandon Rios battle, but higher up the ladder are match-ups with Keith Thurman or Marcos Maidana.

Thurman is well feared at 147lbs due his punching power and ring prowess, whilst a return with Argentine hardman Maidana would have people queueing around the block due to the success of their Fight of the Year war back in 2010.

Anything less than the trio mentioned would be a disappointment and Khan now has to choose his next opponent carefully so not to damage his reputation on home soil any further.

We await the forthcoming announcement…