Few can argue that Amir Khan is one of the most talented fighters of his generation, however most will agree that he has yet to fulfil that potential in his career to date. That could all change this weekend when he steps back into the ring at the iconic Madison Square Garden to take on undefeated Terence Crawford for his WBO welterweight title. Victory will not only make him a two-weight world champion but also silence many critics that felt he would never scale the heights that his prodigious talent suggested he would. The most credible voice in the sport, Boxing News, steps back into the ring with FansBet with their betting preview and tips for the much-anticipated fight and if you are after some betting value then check out our selection of enhanced odds available in our FanBoosts section.
Why this fight?
AMIR KHAN was not expected to be here. On Saturday (April 20) he will step into the ring at Madison Square Garden to challenge Terence Crawford for the WBO welterweight title.
Khan has not fought for a world title since 2016, and that bid for a WBC middleweight crown ended in a crushing knockout defeat against Canelo Alvarez.
He came back with two contests in 2018, which seemed naturally to be leading him to his British rival Kell Brook.
Brook and Khan have long sniped at one another but Khan delivered another snub. He boldly took the fight with Terence Crawford instead. It could make sense to Khan financially, leaving the option of a Brook fight still possibly open to him in future.
Crawford is quite probably the best welterweight in the world right now. It’s hard for him to prove it though. Crawford is promoted by Top Rank and boxes on television giant ESPN (his fight with Khan will be their first pay-per-view).
However, his chief welterweight rivals, Errol Spence, Keith Thurman and Manny Pacquiao are affiliated to Premier Boxing Champions and box on different networks. Crawford needed a big name opponent. So Amir Khan stepped forward.
Khan’s recent form has been hard to read. He has not boxed frequently in recent years. Only once in 2015, when he beat Chris Algeri while waiting for a major fight. Only once in 2016, when he got his major fight against Canelo.
Khan did box well initially in the contest, at an 155lbs catchweight, but he was too small. When Alvarez lined up and landed his right cross he knocked Khan cold. The Briton only came back in 2018. He boxed two poor opponents in Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas.
He did what he needed to do against Lo Greco, stopping him rapidly. Vargas however did turn into an unexpected struggle. Even though Khan dropped him, Vargas managed to put Amir down too and lasted the distance.
Perhaps that was an aberration but it was a nervy performance with the fragilities of old seemingly resurfacing.
Amir Khan Goes On Tour At Madison Square Garden
In contrast Terence Crawford has looked imperious. He was a world champion first at lightweight, he became the undisputed champion at super-lightweight and has looked as good as ever at welterweight.
He beat rugged Australian Jeff Horn, the man who beat Manny Pacquiao, stopping him in nine rounds in Las Vegas.
He defended against Jose Benavidez, showcasing the spite he carries in his fists when he went for, and achieved, a knockout finish in the last round even when he was well ahead on the cards.
He can fight as fluently in the orthodox or southpaw stance, could well be the best welterweight in the world and might just be one of the finest fighters at any weight.
Terence Crawford And Amir Khan Face-Off Ahead Of Their Showdown
What they say
Crawford says: “Amir Khan has been in there with a lot of great fighters. Me beating him will put me on another level in the welterweight division. People are interested in seeing this fight.
“There’s no animosity between me and Amir. He respects me. I respect him. We’ll do our thing in the ring on April 20, and we’ll shake hands when it’s over.”
“I’m expecting the best Amir Khan to show up. I never take any shortcuts in training camp. I’m always training for the best fighter that [my opponent] can be. I never look at it like, ‘Oh, he’s some half Amir Khan, or he’s washed up.’ We’re going to train for the best Amir Khan.”
Khan says: “I’m coming here to win. I’ve never gone into a fight just to make numbers. I’ve made a lot of money in the game, and I could leave the sport happy. But I still have unfinished business. I still have a lot left in me to win them titles. Maybe my last fight wasn’t the best fight. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that got me this fight. I will prove myself. Going into this fight, I’m highly motivated. Terence is a great champion.
“This is a fight that can redeem my whole career. Against Canelo, maybe I was biting off more than I could chew. I took that fight because it was a massive opportunity for me, and I believe in myself as a fighter. This fight, I see that it’s more fair. We’re similar weights. We’ve had similar experience. In my opinion, I’ll be able to take his punching power. He’s also a quick and a skillful fighter, so there’s a lot of advantages for me in this fight. In other fights, I’ve fought guys who are a lot stronger, a lot bigger in weight. That plays a big part. In this fight, I really think I have the style and everything it takes to win.”
Fight Breakdown: Crawford v Khan complete analysis preview
Crawford v Khan Prediction
Khan is both fast and talented. You don’t win an Olympic silver medal as a teenager if you’re not a highly skilled boxer.
In his professional career he has shown heart and determination, he is capable of delivering in high profile fights.
But even if he matches Crawford in the early going, it’s not clear that his chin will be able to stand up to the American’s power.
Crawford is sharp, quick, possibly just as gifted and he is ruthless. He is likely to get to Khan and deliver a knockout, and the risk for the Briton is it could happen in the first half of the fight.
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