ALAN HUBBARD’S PUNCHLINES – 24.7.16
Once again, Amir Khan finds himself at the crossroads of his career. But this time he may have nowhere to go – except India.
After his valiant but painfully abortive attempt to overcome Canelo Alvarez the 29-year-old former world light-welterweight champion is in limbo.
So crushing was his ko defeat by the Mexican that his worthiness as an attraction in the United States is obviously greatly devalued. No promoter there sees him as a world class saleable commodity any more.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum even savaged him thus: ““Amir Khan means absolutely nothing in the United States. He brought over no people for the Canelo fight. He saved the Brits a lot of agony.
“He is not a draw on PPV in England. He is looked upon on both sides of the pond as yesterday’s news, and yet he refuses to recognise that and feels that his value is very, very high, which it is not.”
Harsh words indeed, but certainly with Kell Brook otherwise engaged, opportunities for a big money bout here seem non-existent.
Unless, of course, he fancies a match-up with Bradley Skeete. That could be a fascinating battle of skill and will, and one I’d love to see.
Over to you, Frank…
Realistically, it is becoming apparent that Amir’s best hope for another bumper pay day would be to accept the challenge from Vijender Singh for a catchweight contest in Delhi at some time in the future.
Since Singh opened up his homeland for pro boxing last weekend by winning the WBO Asia-Pacific super-middleweight title against Aussie Kerry Hope speculation about him meeting Khan has escalated.
There is no doubt that a clash between Queensberry’s Star of India and a world renowned Brit of Pakistani heritage, both of whom are Olympic medalists, would really set boxing alight on the sub-continent.
Not only does it make sense – it would certainly make a huge stash of rupees for both.
But Khan warns Vijender:” Be careful of what you wish for, kid,” before adding: “I find Vijender’s challenge quite funny. I will ruin his career.”
He had responded when asked about the possibility of such a fight.
“Before calling out big names like me, he needs to build up his experience. Some fighters do get very ambitious.”
Bolton’s Khan, who recently underwent wrist surgery, says that he would love to fight Vijender but he feels the 30-year-old Sikh sensation needs a couple of more years of pro experience.
However he acknowledges: “You’ve got the India-Pakistan connection and that will make this bout huge. It will be like India-Pakistan in cricket.”
Absolutely, which is why I have a hunch this might happen sooner than we think.
Canelo: A bashing for Brook
Another catchweight pairing that we’d all like to see happen is, of course, Gennady Golovkin against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez – providing, of course, that the two best fighters in the world come through unscathed against their respective British world champion opponents in September.
When he was in London to help promote his BoxNation-televised Texas showdown with WBO junior middle champion Liam Smith last week, Canelo acknowleged that beating Triple G would secure his own legendary status as Mexican boxing’s numero uno.
But he denied he was fighting shy of it, explaining why it has yet to materialise: ”This is a fight that has to happen, and will happen.
“I am not afraid of anybody so why would I not fight him? But big fights like this take time to negotiate and there have been things going on behind the negotiations.
“The WBC have been trying to pressure me into making this fight but I have had other things, personal issues, to take care of.
“As I say it is a fight that will happen. It is just a question of when.”
Mind you, if Beefy has anything to do with it, it may not be a matter of when, but if…
As a matter of interest, we asked Canelo what he thought of the upcoming bout between Golovkin and IBF welter king Kell Brook.
He did not waste words: “It is not a fight that interests me too much. Golovkin will knock him out.”
Not quite the ticket
According to promoters Matchroom, tickets for Brook v Golovkin at the O2 next month “sold out in 11 minutes.”
Yet as Boxing News cryptically pointed out, plenty are available via ticketing site StubHub.
So, not so much a question of who ate all the pies, but who grabbed all the tickets, eh??
The best man will win, and the loser will go back to Mexico.
Liam Smith’s trainer Joe Gallagher has no doubt who triumphs when his man Beefy encounters Canelo.
You can watch all the tapes in the world, come up with all sorts of tactics, but nothing can prepare you for how strong he is.
Words of warning for Smith and Gallagher from Matthew Hatton, one of three previous Brits to face Alvarez.
Of course I want the Furys, of course I want the Joshuas, but the question is, do they want me? My goal is to unify the division. I’m one of the baddest, hardest-hitting heavyweights in the business, so whoever’s got those belts, that’s who I want.
Deontay Wilder in bullish mood after easily defeating ho-hum opponent Chris Arreola virtuallty with one hand.
I felt I was more than a good fighter. I felt I was great. I can understand why nobody would think that now.
George Groves on coming to terms with reality after three failed world title shots.