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Amir Khan and the Light Welterweight Division

By Geno McGahee

The Showtime Super Six tournament at 168 was great for boxing and it has gained the attention of the fans, and now that is just what we need for the 140 pound, light welterweight division. It is full of good fighters and much confusion as to which should be sitting atop. There is plenty of marketability and many good fights ready to be made, and the big winners will be the fans with this division as things begin to get sorted out.

The Top

Amir Khan, 23-1, 17 KO’s

The WBA Light Welterweight Champion is the most exciting (arguably) of the 140 pounders laying claim to the top spot. The British fighter has style and punching-power and has dominated his opposition with the exception of his one defeat when he was caught cold by Breidis Prescott, and stopped in 54 seconds of the first round. He has put together five straight wins since including victories over Paulie Malignaggi and Marco Antonio Barrera. A showdown with Marcos Maidana seems likely.

Timothy Bradley, 26-0, 11 KO’s

The WBO Champion has gotten a lot of attention as of late, due mostly to a rumored showdown with Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather, JR., both of which never materialized. He has fought often on HBO and Showtime and has picked up victories over Lamont Peterson, Kendall Holt, and Junior Witter. He is a workman-like champion that beats his opponents through attrition and activity and is on a collision course with Devon Alexander.

Devon Alexander, 21-0, 13 KO’s

Max Kellerman noted that Alexander just may be the next best pound for pound great when Floyd and Manny ride off into the sunset, but after a life and death struggle with Andriy Kotelnik in his last fight, Max may have to re-evaluate. Alexander is a very quick fighter with good reflexes, with victories over Juan Urango and Junior Witter. A fight with Bradley will make or break his immediate future marketability. He would be favored when they sign the contract, but after his last performance, he is most certainly not a sure thing to win.

Marcos Maidana, 28-1, 27 KO’s

The most exciting man in the division currently is Maidana, a knockout puncher that gets off the floor to destroy his opposition, losing only once via split decision to defensive and difficult Andriy Kotelnik. He stopped Victor Ortiz in a thriller and has been demanding a shot at Amir Khan, and with the perceived brittle chin of Khan, may be the favorite to take the title. Maidana is a power-punching beast and will be trouble for anyone that steps into the ring with him.

Victor Ortiz, 27-2-1, 21 KO’s

Ortiz was on the fast track until he ran into Marcos Maidana in 2009. He has since put together three victories, including a decision win over faded Nate Campbell, and is taking on another beyond their prime name fighter in Vivian Harris on September 18th. Ortiz may just be one level below the guys named above and is still a danger to any of them, but would most certainly be the underdog going in.

Andriy Kotelnik, 31-4-1, 13 KO’s

I’m in the minority, I’m sure, that thought that Kotelnik defeated Devon Alexander with his stiff jab and accuracy, but he is certainly still a force in the division and is the only man to hold a victory over Marcos Maidana. He’s never been stopped and has been battle-tested. His lack of punching power hurts him, but he has great technique, timing, and accuracy.

Lucas Martin Matthysse, 26-0, 24 KO’s

The jury is still out on Matthysse. In his most recent fight, he stunned Vivian Harris en route to the worst stoppage in recent times. Harris should and could have continued but some hometown cooking hurt him and Matthysse. Most likely, Matthysse would have won by stoppage but he needed to prove it. The rest of his opposition is not impressive and he must step up to one of the top dogs in the division soon.

The Old Timers

Zab Judah, 39-6, 27 KO’s

Judah will always have his punch and the move down to 140 at this point in his career is a very good idea. There are many match ups where he would be a live dog, and with his experience and timing, I would not be the least bit surprised if he resumed control of the division.

Ricky Hatton, 45-2, 32 KO’s

Hatton was a very big name at one time, but knockout losses to Floyd Mayweather, JR., and especially to Manny Pacquiao have eliminated him from the picture. He has since made statements implying that he would be returning to 140, where he had his most success. I can’t see him as a player at this time, rather a big name to go on somebody’s career record, most likely Amir Khan.

It is time for a tournament of the light welters, either official or unofficial. There is so much talent at the 140 pound division and remarkably, they appear to want to fight each other. This division should bring us a lot of fun in the near future.

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