Boxing


Amir Khan: Was He Set Up To Fail?

By John Cedartraining: I'm not sure what I'm more shocked about after this weekend? Is it Amir Khan getting utterly blown away by a completely unknown Colombian puncher? Or is it the racism that is spilling out of the various internet boxing forums after this event? Perhaps I expect too much from these outlets that allow anybody to post their opinion, but I have to admit that I've been appalled at the abuse being directed towards Khan, not because of his performance but because he's Asian. All societies have their fair share of morons and so should I expect the boxing community to be any different? I suppose, being 2008, I just hoped that we had moved on from the kind of racism that was indicative of the Jack Johnson era?

So, to the fight itself. I'm not really sure what's new that Saturday's outcome tells us about Amir Khan. For me it confirms that, sometimes, he fights with his heart rather than his head. On Saturday he seemed to want to rush in and prove that he's macho, that he can be in the ring with a puncher. I get the impression that he's a proud man that's been hurt by critics saying (rightly so in my opinion) that he's only been matched with lighter, non-punching, finished fighters. On Saturday it seemed that Khan got caught up in the occasion of his first PPV fight, wanted to prove some people wrong, and paid a heavy price. Ironically, after Saturday's outcome, Khan doesn't need to prove to me that he's macho, anyone that gets up twice after the shots he took on Saturday night has got nothing to prove in the heart department.

Ultimately, I have to admit to being pleased that Khan has lost for the first time. Not because I don't want to see him do well, and not because he doesn't seem like a genuinely decent man but because I, for one, have resented being treated like a fool that knows nothing about boxing by those promoting him. If he's being matched with naturally lighter, faded fighters then let's be honest about it and don't try to spin the public into believing that it's anything but.

Like most boxing fans I suspect, I don't see anything wrong with a new professional going through a learning process meaning that he's matched well and if those promoting him had been honest about this then I believe that he would have retained much of the public goodwill that he initially had. For me, Khan had been set up for a heavy fall by those around him and that descent happened on Saturday. There's a saying that "ones best success comes after their greatest disappointments," I hope that it's the case for Amir.

Article posted on 10.09.2008



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