Open Letter To Freddie Roach: Please Let Amir Khan Fight Marcos Maidana

Nick TylwalkCorrespondent IMarch 31, 2010

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05:  Amir Khan gets ready before his fight against Dmitriy Salita of the U.S. for the WBA Light Welterweight title on December 5, 2009 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by John Gichigi/Getty Images)
John Gichigi/Getty Images

Hey Freddie,

How are you, man? I heard you tell ESPN not too long ago that you’ve had 500 new customers at the Wild Card Boxing Club within the past few months, so it sounds like business is great.

You sure don’t seem to mind talking about Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, but I figure you must be at least a little tired of answering the same questions over and over again. I’m actually not even writing about Manny, but about another one of your fighters—Amir Khan.

I know I’m not alone in saying that I think Khan has the chance to be a big star. He’s talented and charismatic, and while many boxers are one or the other, it’s tough to find one who is both.

There was a lot of talk a few months back about Khan facing Timothy Bradley, which would be a dynamite fight between two rising stars. It didn’t work out that way, but that’s alright because it will be an even bigger fight down the road if both guys keep winning.

I’m looking forward to see Amir take on Paulie Malignaggi in May, as that should be a real test. Even though Paulie is only 2-2 in his last four fights, he looked great in his victory over Juan Diaz this past December, and he seems to have a lot of his old swagger back.

Let’s be honest, though: for all of Malignaggi’s skill and speed, he’s not much of a threat to test Khan’s chin. And really, that’s what we’ve all been wondering about since Amir’s stunning knockout loss to Breidis Prescott two years ago.

That’s why it’s so disappointing to hear boxing commentators suggest that it’s you who is against Khan fighting Marcos Maidana. I just watched the Argentinean slug his way past Victor Cayo , and I know he’s a scary puncher.

But at this point, wouldn’t beating a KO artist like that go a long way toward erasing any doubts people have about Khan, or even doubts he has about himself?

Maybe you see it as an unnecessary risk, and I can understand that. Plenty of young fighters hyped up as the “Next Big Thing” stumble along the way. The best laid plans and all that.

Victor Ortiz can certainly testify to the dangers of fighting Maidana on the way to becoming the sport’s next superstar. Marcos just won’t stop coming, and he’s got the power to change the momentum of a bout at any time.

Still, I really think Khan would beat him if you’d just give the okay to let them get together. We all know you can put together a winning game plan for just about any opponent, and Maidana has plenty of defensive holes to exploit.

Heck, Khan even has a victory over a common opponent, Andriy Kotelnik, who beat Maidana by decision. That doesn’t always mean anything in boxing, but it would at least give you a foundation from which to work.

If you want Amir to reach the status that so many people think he’s capable of attaining, he needs a challenge not only to his technique, but to his heart. A successful battle with Maidana would certainly provide that, and it would be a great springboard to facing Bradley or whoever else you may have in mind for 2011.

In closing, I just want to say that I hope you reconsider putting Khan and Maidana together. The fans will thank you for it, and after the fact, Amir will probably be grateful as well.

Take care, and good luck.


Nick Tylwalk

Nick Tylwalk is the editor and co-founder of BoxingWatchers.com . Follow his Twitter feed @Nick_Tylwalk or the site's feed @boxing_watchers .


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