Amir Khan Still Has Much to Prove Even After Decision Win over Julio Diaz
Amir Khan didn't do anything in his win over Julio Diaz to dispel the notion that he has a glass jaw.
The 26-year-old was knocked down in the fourth round and took some heavy hits in the later rounds as well. Even still, Khan won all three judges' scorecards, 115-113, 115-112, 114-113.
This is the kind of win that doesn't inspire a ton of confidence in Khan. He did well to recover from the knockdown, but there's no reason he should have put himself in that position to begin with.
The satirical BBC Sporf summed up the general perception of Khan:
FACT: Amir Khan 's chin consists of 5% skin and 95% glass.— BBC Sporf (@BBCSporf) April 27, 2013
Coming into the fight, he was still looking to rebound from the losses he suffered to Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson. The fourth-round knockout at the hands of Garcia was particularly troubling. A win over Carlos Molina was nice, but that's not the kind of statement win Khan needed.
Sure, all Khan needed to do was win in order to be set up perfectly by his promoters. ESPN's Dan Rafael reported:
But England's Khan (27-3, 19 KOs) still brings name recognition and excitement to his fights, so Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer has mapped out a plan under which Khan can reap the benefit of being paired with the 140-pounder who comes out of an unofficial four-man tournament that kicks off with Garcia-Judah.
Schaefer intends to match the Garcia-Judah winner with the winner of the fight between titleholder Peterson and interim titlist Lucas Matthysse, who meet May 18 in a 141-pound nontitle bout in Atlantic City, N.J. Schaefer said the winners of those bouts tentatively would meet Sept. 7, with the winner of that fight to face Khan in December.
At this point, Khan isn't deserving of any sort of superfight, megafight or whatever other superlative you can stick in front of "fight," especially against someone like Lucas Matthysse or Garcia.
Khan is a talented boxer with a lot of heart. He's not going to quit, and that was evident against Diaz.
Can Khan make the necessary changes to his style?
That tenacity and determination is a hindrance at times for Khan, though. With his jaw, he can't afford to let his emotions get the better of him. He gets fired up and wants to take the fight to his opponent. It's a major flaw, and until he shows that he's solved the problem, Khan can't be considered a top contender.
Some thought that making Virgil Hunter his trainer would help Khan get a fresh perspective on his best plan of attack. Sure enough, you saw some improvements in Khan during the Diaz fight. Khan, though, eventually reverted to his old self.
Khan should have been able to handle Diaz pretty easily. He could land a few key punches and then make Diaz chase him and just keep repeating that plan.
Once he was hit hard, though, Khan decided to attack Diaz and trade punches with him. It wasn't a very good strategy and almost lost him the fight.
It makes you wonder if Khan will ever learn to rely on his skills and not try to get in a brawl with his opponent. Trainers can work with Khan all they want, but what if Khan's problems are all inside his head? If that's the case, no amount of work can be done to rewire Khan and convince him his style is unsustainable.
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