Amir Khan: Boxing's Next Superstar?
Americans tend to be amused by British expressions—wanker, bloke, snog, bollocks, sod off, arse, bloody hell.
British boxing fans have another expression—chinny. For those unable to do the math, it means to have a bad chin.
Amir Khan, 22-1 (16 KOs), has all of the plug-ins of a superstar—an exciting style, wicked quickness and YouTube power. And he’s anything but cheeky—Brit slang meaning disrespectful or rude. He’s humble, friendly, and highly likable.
Khan’s supporters have dubbed him “King Khan.” To his skeptics, he’s known as “A Mere Con.”
Why the doubters? Mainly because he was roadkilled in 54 seconds by a fighter named Brandeis Prescott in his 19th pro fight in 2008.
The 23 year-old Khan is of Pakistani descent and was born and raised in Bolton, England. He began boxing at age 11 and finished a well-ribboned amateur career with a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics at age 17.
He turned pro as a lightweight in 2005 and jumped, jived, and wailed through his first 18 opponents before stepping off the curb in front of the Prescott Street bus.
Immediately after the Prescott lumping, Amir’s trainer Jorge Rubio was bounced from the fighter’s camp and replaced by Freddy Roach.
Khan was back at the canvas-dance 90 days after the Prescott beatdown, where he busted a move on a chap named Oisin Fagan, taking him out in the second round.
That was followed by Khan’s debut on “Ring Dancing with the Stars” against Marco Antonio Barrera.
Khan easily outboxed the war-torn legend, winning every round in a five-round technical decision that was stopped due to a gnarly gash on the Mexican’s bean that was caused by an accidental head-butt.
Khan then stepped up in weight for a go at the WBC junior-welterweight belt attired by Andreas Kotelnik and out-boogied the Ukrainian over 12 rounds by scores of 120-108 and 118-111 twice.
And most recently, Khan got jiggy on unbeaten mandatory challenger Dmitry Salita, bouncing him off the floor three times like LeBron James taking it to the rack from the top of the key, before slam-dunking him at the 76-second mark of the first round.
Now Khan and his handlers are looking for a big-name fight in America in 2010.
The most recent rumor has HBO discussing Amir taking on Paulie Malignaggi on March 6, possibly at Madison Square Garden.
There has also been some chatter about the possibility of HBO hosting a junior-welterweight tournament not unlike the super-middleweight Super Six World Boxing Classic taking place on Showtime. Khan’s name has been tossed around regularly in that conversation.
One way or another, Amir Khan is about to make his presence known on the Broadway stage of boxing.
What remains to be seen, and will undoubtedly be revealed at some point on that grand platform, is whether he has true star quality and just happened to have a bad night—it’s happened to some great fighters—or whether he is indeed chinny.
In the meantime, Khan and the “King Khan” crowd await the chance to prove the “A Mere Con” doubters wrong.
Or, maybe I should put it this way: If the bloke can prove the rumors of him being chinny to be bollocks, all the cheeky wankers who doubted him can snog his arse and sod off.
Well, bloody hell. I don’t know how this is going to pan out, but it’s going to be exciting seeing it happen.
And I’m really starting to take to this British slang.
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