Of all the weight divisions what would you say is the most exciting?
For the Brits it has to be one where we have a World Champion! It should also include one where the people around the Champion are likely to knock his crown off. The 140 pound division is certainly where it is at. The UK has its King – Amir “King” Khan.
The question is – is Khan the best 140lber in the ring?
Recently some of his pronouncements have suggested he wishes to be a cautious ruler. His rise to the top has not been as planned as some. There has not been the avoiding of difficult picks and sometimes the choices he has made in terms of opponents has made many of his supporters draw breath in fear that he has taken a step too far. Each time he has proven his doubters wrong. Each and every time there has been a criticism he has answered it.
Khan was criticized as having a dodgy chin. In the 10th round against Maidana he answered that charge – his biggest supporter Maidana himself. People said he would never recover from losing to Prescott. He got up, dusted himself down and became a world champion. Not a bad response!
His caution and bravery has come in equal bursts and when he managed to beat Maidana the thorny question of taking on one of the two best pound for pound fighters on the planet surfaced once again. He was coy on Floyd Mayweather, JR., and suggested he may not be quite ready just yet.
To be a good King can mean picking your fights rather than your opponents.
He has also sparred with Manny Pacquiao and as was exclusively revealed on RSR he managed to drop Manny to the floor. Freddie Roach trains both and his view is that they should never square up against each other in the ring.
But is Amir the rightful King of the 140lbers? At present according to BoxingRec – no. That title belongs to WBO champion Timothy Bradley. Bradley boasts a tremendous claim to the throne. Undefeated in 26 contests he has beaten Lamont Peterson, Nate Campbell, Junior Witter and Miguel Vazquez. His unification bout against Devon Alexander is the first step in finding out who may be the best but Alexander himself has his own claim to stake.
Undefeated in 21 contests including the defeats of Kotelnik and Witter, Alexander will provide a very stiff opponent for Bradley. The winner will pursue or be pursued by the others round about and Khan himself seems to be avoiding the possible unification of the three belts for the time being.
My money is on Bradley being too good for Alexander, then a fight against Ortiz. Boasting a 28-2 record, Victor Ortiz doesn’t have much of a claim to the title of the best but he could be decisive in who does get to claim it if people underestimate him in the ring!
Had he managed to beat Khan, Maidana may have been another name in the running for King but his loss demotes his claim for the time being but, like Ortiz, Maidana is discounted by any at their peril. The thing about this division right now is that the top may have an IBF vacancy, three other champions, a unification bout to come and uncertainty over how we unite it to follow but there is depth and strength that will make it exciting for years to come.
For Amir King Khan he needs to return home to England and recruit more fans with an exiting fight. The UK fans travel if they think they have a fighter worthy of such effort. Clearly Khan is worth it. UK based fans should be looking for a good contest that catches the imagination to be fought in the UK before a return to the US. There had been rumors and plenty of negotiation about a fight with European Champion Paul McCloskey.
That would have been a tough match but not the sell Golden Boy and Sky wanted. On top of that the McCloskey camp seems to be suggesting (They are livid and screaming their indignation) that the offer was not worth the fight.
There has also been a suggestion that Khan fight against European Lightweight champion John Murray. Undefeated in 30 contests that would be much more like it and an exciting contest. Perhaps the negotiations for that will now follow.
Right now though there seems to be a bit of a rest in store for the King. He should not, however remain idle for long. There are plenty round about who eye that crown with envy and their opportunities to take it away from Amir shall be coming thick and fast!