Amir Khan defeated Julio Diaz in extremely unimpressive fashion on Saturday night. While the pair’s bout was an interesting one from a fan perspective, it was far closer than it should have been. Most regarded this as Khan’s opportunity to get on a hot streak, develop some confidence, and prepare for either a rematch against Danny Garcia or legitimate title contention against another big name star. Instead, it ended up being a crash course on 26-year-old star’s two biggest weaknesses.
By now, everyone knows that Khan has a reputation for having a glass jaw. His weak chin was once again exposed for what it is when Diaz dropped him in surprising fashion and momentarily appeared to have a shot at a knockout victory. While Khan ultimately battled back and secured the unanimous decision win, the fact that Diaz could do the sort of damage that he did was staggering. It also exposed the second hole in Khan’s game – his carelessness.
A guy who has been around as long as Khan has should not get sloppy during bouts; consistency is what separates talented boxers from superstars. And yet time after time, regardless of who is training him, the Bolton-born brawler will inevitably let his guard down at some point during the match. That coupled with his inability to take a solid punch is why he hasn’t lived up to expectations to date. Diaz wasn’t able to take advantage of Khan’s weaknesses; Floyd Mayweather Jr. would have.
After Khan’s victory, Richard Schaefer came out and said that he wants to pit his guy against “Maywearther or Pacquiao.” While Khan clearly has the brand name to fight either man, he only has the skills to fight one of them. At this late stage in his career, a depleted Pacquiao is Khan’s lone shot at securing victory against a big name opponent.
Unless Mayweather looks shockingly awful against Robert Guerrero this weekend, the consensus will be that he’s too good to fight Khan.
Pacquiao, however, presuming Mike Alvarado (or Brandon Rios) doesn’t send him into retirement, would be a perfect match-up. He lacks the knockout power necessary to floor Khan. He no longer has the speed that once made him the best pound-for-pounder in all the land. And, frankly, the fact that they used to train together will benefit Khan a lot more than it’ll benefit Pacquiao.
If Khan wants a big name opponent for his next fight, he should give his old trainer a call and set it up.