Will Marcos Rene Maidana Ever Get That Fight With Amir Khan?

Khan vs Maidanaby James Slater - Though Argentina's Marcos Rene Maidana, who retained his interim version of the WBA light-welterweight title with a crushing 6th-round stoppage of the previously unbeaten Victor Manuel Cayo on Saturday night, said afterwards he doesn't care whether or not he faces Amir Khan next or not; it's a sure thing the fans hope this is the fight that finally gets made.

Khan, 22-1(16) and the "Real" WBA champ at 140-pounds, must first defeat the skilful and respected Paulie Malignaggi in May, in what will be his U.S debut, but will the former Olympian then, finally, agree to fight his mandatory challenger? Khan's critics will have none of it, claiming the 23-year-old and his team will never allow him near the brutal-punching 26-year-old. Khan himself, however, has expressed interest in facing Maidana; the two fighters even "agreed" to a fight earlier this year. And, bluntly put, if Khan wants to keep his WBA belt, he will have to face the 28-1(27) banger some time fairly soon. How long has Maidana been the interim WBA champion already? Since his sensationally exciting win over Victor Ortiz in June of last year, that's how long..

With his fighting style, his willingness to face all comers and, of course, his raw power, Maidana is a fighter who deserves to be a star. A win over Khan, especially the brutal KO win his fans feel sure he will get if he ever faces the Brit, would make Maidana that star. But where, aside from in a heap, would a loss to the Argentine leave Khan? It sure would take some hard work by a good many people for Khan to be able to rebuild his career for a second time (the first time coming after his 54-second nightmare against another huge puncher in Bredis Prescott). This is why, Khan's critics say, the fight with Maidana has not been made for the "chinny" Freddie Roach-trained talent - the risks far outweigh the potential rewards.

We'll know a lot more after May 15th, the date of Khan Vs. Malignaggi. If Khan wins with ease, his confidence and fighter's pride might make him opt to look in Maidana's direction once more. If, however, the relatively light-hitting "Magic Man" either defeats Khan or gives him trouble, hurts him and gives him real headaches in the fight, Maidana - or any fighter so dangerous for that matter - will surely be ignored by Team-Khan when it comes to Amir's next fight.

Let's let Khan get his U.S/Golden Boy debut out of the way first, and then begin asking/ demanding that he face Maidana. Of course, all will not be lost for "El Chino" if he is avoided by Khan forever; what with there being a number of exciting-looking and attractive match-ups that can be made for him in the currently talent-rich 140-pound weight class. Maidana Vs. Devon Alexander would be great, as would Maidana against either Timothy Bradley or Malignaggi, if the New Yorker does manage to take Khan's belt in May.

The fight that continues to really interest, though, is Maidana against the man from Bolton, U.K.

Article posted on 30.03.2010

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