Saturday, May 30, 2015
Khan's win leaves more questions than answers
On Friday night in Brooklyn's Barclay Center Amir 'King' Khan was supposed to solidify himself as the next obvious opponent for the true "King" of boxing Floyd 'Money' Mayweather. Yet, although Khan (pictured @ left) may have secured a victory, his win against native New Yorker Chris Algieri left more questions than answers when it comes to Khan (31-3, 19 KO's) as a viable challenge to Money May.
Sure at just 28 years old, Khan has a 10-year age advantage to Mayweather, now 38, and is going into his prime right now. However, I witnessed many flaws and holes in his game against Algieri, especially on defense, that could and will be exposed by a master like Floyd. Less we forget that those 10 years, though considered a negative in terms of age, are actually a positive when it comes to wisdom; say what you will about Floyd Mayweather, but nobody is smarter in the ring.
Khan appeared ready to make the statement he needed Friday night as he started out crisp and clearly superior in speed against the game Algieri. He pitched a shutout through the first three rounds, however the former 'Big Apple' champ showed glimpses he was there to win. Eventually those glimpses turned into moments as he began to connect regularly with overhand right leads to Khan's face. If Algieri had any punching power, he may have actually finished the favored Khan with one of those.
Algieri (20-2, 8 KO's) tried his best, as the slick boxer who used that skill nearly one year ago in the same arena to surprisingly win a world title against one-dimensional Ruslan Provodnikov, flipped his game and actually sat down on his punches. A perfect game plan devised by his new trainer John David Jackson, as Khan admitted afterwards that he got caught off guard; however the light punching Algieiri just couldn't pull it off.
In the middle rounds as Khan began to slow down a bit, besides the overhand right, Algieri began to land lead left hooks with regularity. Again, with no punching power to go along with them, they garnered him a round here and there, but that's about it. Luckily for Khan, he too has a wise man in his corner in Virgil Hunter.
Hunter, the no nonsense trainer who has guided undefeated super middleweight champion Andre Ward, not only realized what Algieri was doing, but more importantly knew that Algieri did not have the necessary power to pull it off. He yelled at Khan to stop going in and out, where he was getting caught, and instead told him to stay within punching range. This simple adjustment made all the difference in the world as Khan took control again in the latter half of the fight en route to a unanimous decision victory.
In his post fight interview, Khan stated he wants Mayweather, which of course everyone expected, but I'm not sure he sold everyone on the idea. The light punching and relatively world class inexperienced Algieri actually gave him problems. This was only Algieri's third fight on the world class stage, and although he's lost his last two in a row, he showed definite improvements since his lopsided loss to Manny Pacquiao. His union with Jackson as his trainer should only continue to make him better.
Khan meanwhile, a former Olympic Silver medalist and former world champion, who currently holds the WBC Silver welterweight title, whatever that is, though showing improvements as well under Hunter, still has deficiencies and a suspect chin. Floyd Mayweather is a major level change from Chris Algieri, the highest level to be exact. Mayweather, though not the biggest puncher either, would definitely throw more follow-up punches and eventually hurt Khan.
The one thing in Khan's favor is the age. At any point Father Time can swing his cane and Mayweather can get old in the ring overnight. However, though 38, he has not been prone to much punishment and never comes into a fight unprepared physically and mentally. Thus, barring that, I see Mayweather defeating Khan easily if they should meet later this year, especially after Khan's win left more questions than answers about his game.
at May 30, 2015
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