Amir Khan King of the Junior Welterweights: 5 Fights He Should Consider Next
It took Amir Khan less than 15 minutes to dispose of Zab Judah in their Junior Welterweight title fight on Saturday. Khan controlled every second of every round on his way to a fifth ound knockout victory.
Judah had no answers for Khan’s superior hand speed and power. He provided little resistance and was completely overmatched and outclassed by Khan.
After being battered and bruised for the much of the fight, a bloodied and discouraged Judah was unable to reach his feet after being dropped by a body shot midway through the fifth round.
In the post fight interview, Judah complained that the shot hit him low. Whether the punch was fair or foul isn’t worth debating. Judah was never in the fight, and the knockout saved him from absorbing anymore unnecessary punishment.
With the victory, Amir Khan established himself as the best 140 lb. fighter in the world and the “King” of the Junior Welterweights. Here are five fights he should consider next.
5. The Obvious: Unification Bout with Timothy Bradley
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Earlier this year, Timothy Bradley and Amir Khan had their own Junior Welterweight version of Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, the two best fighters in a division unable to come to terms to make a fight possible.
Unlike the drug testing dilemma that continues to dog Pacquiao and Mayweather negotiations, there does not appear to be any obstacle between Bradley and Khan or Khan and Bradley (however, they decide to promote it.)
Khan is the best fighter in the Junior Welterweight division, and Bradley is a close second. They’re both young and in the prime of their careers. There is no reason a fight can’t be made.
Bradley currently has no fight scheduled, and it only makes sense for Khan to be his next opponent.
Khan’s promoter Richard Schafer has already thrown the first jab with his comments after Khan’s victory this past weekend. “I call Amir the undisputed 140-pound champion, because the other champion [Bradley] didn’t want to fight him before and won’t want to fight him now,” Schafer said.
Let’s hope Bradley proves him wrong.
4. The Potential Fight of the Year Candidate: Robert Guerrero/Marcos Maidana
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On August 27, Robert Guerrero and Marcos Maidana will wage war against one another for the WBA and WBO Light Welterweight titles. Maidana won his last fight, a 12-round slugfest against Mexican legend Erik Morales.
Guerrero is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Michael Katsidis.
The fight figures to be action packed as both men attempt to take their place at the top of the division.
Khan has expressed interest in fighting Guerrero later this year should he win this fight. However, a Maidana victory could put him in line for a rematch with Khan.
In December, Khan was awarded a unanimous decision victory over Maidana in a bout that was voted Fight of The Year.
Could Khan and Maidana make it two in a row?
3. The Easiest: Erik Morales
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Erik Morales is a first ballot Hall of Famer the second he decides to hang up his gloves. He has had a remarkable career, but he’s campaigned mainly at 130 lbs. He was highly competitive against Marcos Maidana back in April but ended up losing a majority decision.
Khan is big for a Junior Welterweight, and it showed in his fight with Zab Judah. He would enjoy advantages in reach, speed, power and size. Morales is a game opponent and would welcome the challenge and the payday, but on paper, the fight appears to be a mismatch.
Hopefully, Khan passes on fighting an over the hill Erik Morales.
2. The Riskiest: Rematch with Bredis Prescott
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Amir Khan has only one blemish on his record. It occurred nearly three years ago at the hands of former Lightweight champion Breidis Prescott.
Khan was heavily favored but was quickly overwhelmed by the bigger and stronger Prescott. Khan was floored within the first minute of the fight but managed to pop back up despite being badly hurt. Seconds later Prescott landed a stiff left hand that dropped Khan for the second time in the round. Khan was unable to stand and was counted out 54 seconds into the very first round.
Since the loss, Khan has won eight straight fights and has become a major star in the sport.
Prescott is not as well known but is an impressive (24-2), winning 19 of those fights by stoppage. Prescott has lobbied for a second fight with Khan and could get one in the near future.
Khan has said in the past that he’s open to the rematch, but one has to wonder whether the risk of fighting Prescott is worth it to Khan.
1. The Biggest Challenge: Andre Berto
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If a fight with Timothy Bradley fails to materialize, Khan could move up in weight and look for a fight at 147 lbs. Many of the top names are already booked into fights this year, but Andre Berto is available and would provide a sure test for Amir Khan.
It is a dangerous fight to take, but Khan seems to welcome the big fights and challenges. Plus, he appears to have outgrown the Junior Welterweight division and a move to Welterweight is imminent.
Berto is a big, strong natural Welterweight, but he is coming off of a loss. There might not be a better time for Khan to jump in and fight him.
Khan would have the slight edge in hand speed, and if he could avoid getting caught with any big punches, he should be able to outpoint Berto.
A victory over Berto and Khan could cut to the front of the line in the Mayweather Sweepstakes.