Young British junior welter, Amir Khan, defends his WBA strap against the hard charging, murderously punching Marcos Maidana this December 11th at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
The bout is eagerly anticipated by the legions of Khan’s critics who dismiss him as a swaddled piece of royale china. Khan has an equal measure of loyal supporters who have channeled him into something of a minor star, not the least of which is his trainer, Freddie Roach, who saw enough raw talent and desire to take Khan under his wing and reshape him from shattered scattered shards into a highly ranked boxer/puncher sporting a shiny new belt.
Maidana earned his shot at this prize by winning an eliminator and becoming the much avoided mandatory until he could be put off no longer after Khan was finally threatened with strippage of his title.
None of that matters anymore now that they are fighting, so the hope is that that a definitive result emerges out of what has potential of being a very good or very bad or very short fight, depending on what style Khan employs and how quick to the point Maidana is.
Maidana is a very basic, some would even say primitive fighter who only looks to blast his opponent’s jawbone into the 5th row, but those critics fail to appreciate what it takes to harness natural talent and physical attributes to make that kind of power and results happen against another man intent on doing the same to you. With his current record standing at 29-1, 27 KO, Maidana has suffered somewhat from being something of “another unknown Argentinean slugger” with managerial problems in spite of signing with Khan’s promoter, Golden Boy Promotions, just another high risk but low reward foreigner.
This fight figures to be his breakout moment and you can be sure that El Chino figures on being the Bull on a rampage in King Khan’s finest china shop.
Young Khan, age 23, is where the future revenue potential is, teetering on the cusp as a potential international star. Floyd Mayweather Jr has been rumored to have an interest in fighting Khan if he prevails as a convenient in house Golden Boy promotion.
As such, Maidana knows it’s unlikely he could ever outbox a highly trained, talented touted boxer much less get a decision on the cards, so he’s gotta storm the venue and knock over the apple cart to become a star in his own right. As one of the hardest p4p punchers in the game today, he has a pretty fair chance of doing just that, IF he can catch the fleet footed Khan who doubtless is getting special training from the aptly named 100 meter man, Usain Bolt.
Maidana is pretty quick on the mark himself and can cut the ring off well when he chooses, but like most big sluggers, he’d like nothing better than to trade at ring center where he’s in his deadliest zone. It’s highly unlikely that Khan engages him for more than brief flashes though, probably implementing his Kotelnik strategy that saw him pecking away while on a frenetic run for most every minute of all 12 rounds against the light punching Ukrainian.
That fight was terrible as a spectacle, but it earned Khan a wide hometown decision on the cards and gave him a measure of redemption after the Breidis Prescott disaster. Maidana may look clumsy as he overextends while on the chase, but he’s hungry enough to eventually hunt Khan down for some fireworks which is where the true interest in this fight lays for fight fans. Khan has some healthy power of his own and is a quick combination puncher who looks to establish enough hurt to slow down the iron chinned Maidana onslaught.
Can Khan survive the huge crunching swings of Maidana to establish that respect and cruise to another decision? Maybe. Khan will certainly be the bookmaker’s favorite for this fight.
I see Maidana as having the right style and attributes to eventually splash Khan into Bolivia on the Thames sooner than later, but like any fight, each has to prove he can win in the ring thankfully.
The undercard is intriguing in that it is also co-promoting other top Golden Boy junior welters, Victor Ortiz and Joan Guzman in separate bouts, convenient in-house future opponents for both Khan and Maidana.
Well, as they are fond of saying, gots to fight to prove it, so all the talk, the posturing, the duckin’, divin’ & jivin’, all fixin’ to end once the first bell sounds for the real braggin’ rights.
Khan vs Maidana may be long overdue, but it may well turn out to be well worth the wait.