I remember watching Maidana versus Alexander; it was hard to deal with. Things looked bad for Maidana, who was about to topple many times during the fight. Alexander hacked away at Maidana using lateral movement and fast jabs which he worked into clever combinations helping to win him the bout. Watching how Khan's fight with Danny Garcia ended, I thought about what he did wrong.
Amir was hitting hard with speed, but used limited combinations and almost no lateral movement, rarely protecting his head. His mind trapping his body convincing him to fight like a brawler, even though his technical boxing skills helped him to win many of his fights. Then I thought about the pressure put on him by his opponent’s father Angel and the unresolved battle with Lamont Peterson. Amir Khan has been attacked in the past, ridiculed and more or less disliked by people for the only adversity he was born with: being a Muslim.
States away watching the fight on TV, I saw Amir fighting on, even after being knocked down. His heart and determination wouldn’t allow him to lose without giving his all. Khan has never backed down from a fight even when he could have, something his critics fail to realize or purposely overlook. Watching Amir fight, there was a look in his eyes during the bout with Garcia that I understood all too well.
His eyes looked the same way mine did, watching the press event with Angel Garcia proclaiming his God was better than Amir’s. Under my own anger being a Muslim “Pakistanian," Angel put the devil in front of my face and that of every sensible person throughout the world. It may have helped if he knew that that we are not “Pakistanian,” correct term being Pakistani. Just like Angel is not a peurtoricus, but I’m sure he knew that with all that college education under his belt, tucked in safely next to his gun.
Telling me right here in Philly he’s never seen one of us that can fight? Sending food and supplies after his verbal bombs drop telling Khan he’s no Prince Naseem? Angel's George Bush inspired speech lacked intelligence, as he is a Christian by default whose country Puerto Rico used massive forceful conversions of people into Christianity. Angels God than that he seems to understand and love so much was forced on him.
I and many other Pakistanis are not Muslim by default. We are not converts, nor has our faith been forced upon us. I have yet to hear about one of us walking around converting people like a Jehovah witness, let alone by force. I imagine Amir going into the fight; hate against him approved and validated during the press conference as nothing more than an unconventional method used to rattle his cage. Khan, goated into a fight of passive aggression with his mind distracted and clouded. A testament to the psychological warfare America is known for embracing in order to secure a win.
Prior to this fight, Amir officially lost the decision to a juiced up Lamont Peterson, who lunged at him with no end like the boogey man. Peterson’s positive test for steroids was obvious to me as Peterson had never taken hard hits like Khans and kept coming, definitely not during his fight with Victor Ortiz. A knockdown by Khan in the early rounds as he battled on should have won him the fight.
Many people failed to give Khan the credit he deserved for the fight even though he was the unofficial winner similar to the way Manny was against Bradley. I believe it was not only the lack of validation from the boxing world for his amazing display of skill and dedication against Peterson, but also the physiological effect on the mind and body of having to fight a juiced up stalking Lamont that made Khan fight so differently with Garcia. I began to ask myself more questions about what happened at the press conference.
Yes Danny Garcia won, but at what cost? Why was Danny’s father Angel allowed to instigate his own Spanish Inquisition on Amir live in front of the whole world watching? Why was Angel's crusading rant allowed to happen? Why wasn’t he told to leave? No sanctions were placed, not even a proverbial slap on the wrist for insulting Amir’s faith and that of the world over. Certainly nothing pointed towards a solution as far as preventing something like this from happening again. It disgusted me to see Angel's hate swept under the rug, but it hurt me more to see the institution of boxing allowing so much negativity to be placed on an amazing, young talented fighter of Khan’s caliber for nothing more than him being a practicing Muslim.
Once again, racism and psychological warfare of a bigoted manner was permitted, allowed, and approved to happen to another talented Muslim. But none of us save for this writer/producer/rapper, felt the need to say it or fight for it. Many thanks to ESPN writer Dan Rafael, his editorial on Amir Khan showing such class after his defeat to Danny Garcia was heartwarming, truthful, and very informative.
Farid is also a hiphop artist/producer from Philadelphia, Political Assasin. You can find him online at www.thepoliticalassasin.com