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Timothy Bradley Vs Amir Khan: Super Fight in the Making

By Damien Norman

WBA World Light Welterweight Champion Amir Khan is set to make another Title defense against the unbeaten Irish Paul McCloskey in April but most fans (and I) are looking beyond this fight.

Although McCloskey is unbeaten with 22 victories, the truth is he that he is far from being on Khan’s level and the expectation is that Khan will walk through McCloskey, probably earning himself an early KO victory and easy night.

With the above in mind we are moving on to the next fight and the one that we are all hoping to see is the battle between Amir Khan and Timothy Bradley.

Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley doesn’t really need an introduction; He comes to the table with a perfect record of 27 wins and just a month back defeated the very popular Devon Alexander in what was his biggest fight to date (even if it made for utterly terrible viewing).

Bradley (similar to Manny Pacquiao, albeit on a smaller scale) is the peoples champ and is rated number one at Light Welterweight by many of the top organizations. He is the WBC and WBO champ and to take on Amir Khan in a massive showdown with all on the line would undoubtedly be an absolute sell out…but who would win?

Being from the UK it is hard for me not to be a fan of Amir Khan however unlike many journalists back here I have always been honest when writing about him. I like many still realize his flaws and remain unbiased when it comes to speaking of them. With all of his breathtaking speed, movement and agility as a Boxer and all round athlete there remains a couple of huge question marks hanging over his head. Khan’s chin has still yet to be completely tested by a big puncher and although in his last fight against Marcos Maidana he showed big signs of improvement the old saying goes that you can’t put muscles on a chin and unfortunately for Khan until he is in there with a big hitter I am going to be a skeptic and say that he is indeed “chinny.”

The other question mark is with his power (or lack of it). Again, many fans are quick to point to the Maidana fight and claim he proved he had a solid chin and power but I am afraid I don’t buy it from that fight. It is undeniable that he had Maidana rocked and showed that he can punch, but a massive puncher… not off the back of that or anything that I have seen so far.

Speed and accuracy can count for so much, especially in the lighter divisions and this is Amir Khan’s biggest asset. Not only are his punches right on target, he also throws huge combinations of 4 or 5 punches and this is such a deadly weapon to have in your armory as a Boxer. When you think of Khan you think of speed and there aren’t too many opponents out there that will able to deal with it.

With Timothy Bradley scheduled to take on an opponent which is yet TBA in July it is looking increasingly likely that the opponent will be soon named as Amir Khan.

As mentioned above, Bradley’s last battle was against Devon Alexander which was an awful affair. It was hard to learn anything about Bradley from the fight but it was more about Alexander and whether had what it took to step up against the best. Bradley will feel he has proved everything he needs to prove and despite the awful show with Alexander listening to his most recent interviews his confidence remains sky high. The negotiations for Khan have been started however put on hold due to Khan and his team not wanting to look past McCloskey.

Of Bradley’s 27 wins only 11 have come by way of KO… not tremendous reading as a Bradley fan when you consider Khan has only fought 24 times and has 17 KO’s. The other notable difference between Bradley and Khan is height. Bradley stands at 5’6 whereas Khan is a huge 4 inches taller at 5’10. It wouldn’t be the first time that Bradley has fought against a much taller opponent in fact just back in 2009 he defeated Lamont Peterson who stood at 5’9 however were talking about an opponent in a much different league, an opponent who is much livelier and possesses many more qualities.

I have to admit I have never been completely sold on Timothy Bradley and this is mainly due to his lack of power. He is a very skillful Boxer, moves well and let’s face it to be World champion of two separate Titles takes something a little bit special but I struggle to see him dealing with Khan and his remarkable speed. I don’t see a knockout in this fight from either man and I stand by what I have always said in that it will be a UD in Khan’s favor. That’s not saying Bradley can’t punch because he clearly can. Some of his knockout victories have been extremely impressive however although Khan’s chin is questionable I just don’t see Bradley pining him down.

Since Khan moved to the Wildcard Gym under Freddy Roach’s wing it is clear that he is a completely different fighter. He always had the speed but now he knows exactly how to use it. Roach can’t put muscles on his chin however what he can do is execute a style that enables Khan to ride a lot of the shots and his conditioning means that if/when he is caught his recovery is significantly quicker and better. He would need to call on all of these resources too if the Bradley battle commences as if nothing else the volume of shots from ‘Dessert Storm’ would slow him down.

We are all keeping our fingers crossed in hope that this fight sets stage as it is a fight that really needs to happen. This fight reminds me a little bit of Haye and the Klitschko’s. Like Haye, Khan still has critics asking the same questions and until he gets in the ring with the man that is seen as the deadliest at the weight the doubters are always going to be there. The obvious difference though is Bradley probably isn’t the man to test his power, I would be looking at the only and only Manny Pacquiao or even Floyd Mayweather JR. for that to happen although both of those seem unlikely.

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