On April 20, British boxing superstar Amir Khan will be challenging the No.1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Terence “Omaha” Crawford, for the WBO welterweight championship at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Bob Arum’s Top-Rank Promotions and British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn worked together to put up the fight that will have huge ramification in a heavily-loaded welterweight division.
Khan, who is guaranteed $5 million and a percentage in the pay-per-view buys, is aiming to become a world champion again after seven years of wait. The Briton last held a world championship strap from a major boxing organization in 2012 when he was still the WBA (Super) light welterweight champ.
Crawford has been an overwhelming force in boxing over the last five years. He dominated the light welterweight division. And he claimed the belts from all four major organizations (WBA, WBO, IBF and WBC). He also held the Ring Magazine and the lineal championship. This made him the first undisputed champion at light welterweight since Kostya Tszyu in 2004.
Who has the better career?
At first glance, you would say that Crawford has a better resume between the two fighters. However, Khan insisted that his track record is “light years” ahead of the American boxer.
“His last three opponents [José Benavidez, Jeff Horn and Julius Indongo] I would have beat easy,” Khan told reporters via Boxing Scene.
“The only opponent of his you could pick out is Breidis Prescott [who knocked Khan out in 2008]. That was late in Prescott’s career. I would have destroyed Prescott if I’d fought him then. Crawford’s taking a big step up against me. Compare his resume to mine and I am light years ahead”.
Prescott, who made a career in boxing as a knockout specialist out of Colombia, floored Khan twice on his way to a first-round KO win before a stunned crowd at MEN Arena in Manchester, England.
Five years after his marquee win over Khan, Prescott faced then rising star Crawford in a 10-round contest at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. The American easily scored a unanimous decision victory against Prescott (his 20th professional fight). He stayed undefeated in his next 14 fights.
Khan has always been known as a highly skilled fighter with incredible hand speed and footwork. On the bad side, his reputation of having a glass chin has haunted him throughout his career. He suffered devastating KO loss at the hands of Prescott. Plus, Danny Garcia and Canelo Alvarez. His 2010 bout with Marcos Maidana also exposed his weaknesses against a heavy puncher, something that Crawford is known for.
Khan seems to have a valid point that his resume is better than Crawford when it comes to the quality of opponents he faced. He squared it off with Boxing Hall of Famers and world champions such as Marco Antonio Barrera, Paulie Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana, Zab Judah, Lamont Peterson, Danny Garcia, Devon Alexander, Julio Diaz and Canelo Alvarez.
On the other hand, Yuriorkis Gamboa might be the only top-caliber fighter Crawford fought in his career. Ricky Burns, Julius Indongo and Jeff Horn are world champions in their own rights. But these fighters pale in comparison to the class of opponents Khan exchanged punches with.
Still, Crawford will step in the ring on April 20 as the overwhelming favorite against Khan. He may lack the experience of fighting a top-notch foe, yet he has all the tools to finish the match within six rounds.
There’s a reason why the Ring Magazine and boxing pundits consider Crawford the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Vasyl Lomachenko might have a valid claim to the throne, but Crawford’s speed, boxing I.Q and horse power make him perhaps the most complete fighter right now.
Khan, who admitted that he has few fights left in him, is in for a tough fight with Crawford. He must understand that even a small miscalculation could lead to his demise. He has no option but to play a perfect game in order to pull off the biggest upset of the year or else it’s going to be a short night for him.