Duke McKenzie has his say on Amir Khan

On June 27, 2008 by

Duke McKenzie – who is a former world champion at three weights – believes that Amir Khan should have another five fights before he considers a world-title shot.

McKenzie watched on from ringside as Khan defeated Michael Gomez in five rounds on Saturday night and he thinks that the Bolton boxer needs to work on his defence before biting off more than he can chew. He said that despite being impressed with Khan’s character, he was ‘too easy to hit’.

I have to agree with Mr McKenzie. You would bet on Amir Khan having a long and successful career – so what is the rush? Impatience is something that occurs too often in boxing and Khan should only make the step up when he is 100% ready. If that means he needs a few more fights to touch up his defence, then so be it.

Khan himself is keen on winning a world title at the age of 21. However, his 22nd birthday is in December and this ‘target’ should be sacrificed for making sure that he wins the world title in the first place. After all, to be a World Champion at the age of 22 is something to be extremely proud of.

With consideration to possible opponents for Khan, McKenzie mentioned Jon Thaxton and John Murray. I’d say the latter is more likely. Thaxton was battered in going for the European title against Yuri Romanov and I remember thinking at the time – why would Khan fight this guy?

There has been much talk between the Thaxton and Khan camps over the last few months and I just get the feeling that if it was going to happen – it would have happened by now.

John Murray on the other hand, is unbeaten after 24 professional fights and will test Khan’s defences. Something that Duke McKenzie feels that he needs to majorly work on if he is to become a World Champion.

Written by Thomas Rooney – A Freelance Sports Journalist

Khan survives knockdown to defend title

On June 23, 2008 by

Wow. That was explosive stuff. The fight between Amir Khan and Michael Gomez had everything. Both fighters were knocked down, there were heavy blows, aggressive body shots and fast combinations. Considering it was ended in the fifth round, it isn’t hard to show why it was such an entertaining bout. Khan eventually managed to retain his Commonwealth lightweight title, but it didn’t come easily.

Khan was expected to win big in this fight and everything was going to plan in the first round. The Bolton boxer started excellently with several effective combinations and an eventual right hand which saw Gomez hit the floor. Any boxing bets that were placed on Khan were looking safe at this stage. Only a matter of time surely?

That was far from the case though. Gomez came out fighting in the second round, determined not to be dominated by Khan. Then came the moment that shocked everyone – Gomez produced a thundering left hook to send the unbeaten Khan to the floor. There was a gasp from everyone in the crowd.

Khan got up quickly, showing no sign of pain and straight away he went on the attack. He cut Gomez above the left eye and was back on top – the crowd, at this stage, were going mental. The third round saw more aggressive blows from both fighters and it was clear at this point that this fight wasn’t going the distance.

In what was clearly Khan’s biggest test of his professional career, Gomez hurt him badly in the fourth round. The ‘Predator’ hit his body with a ferocious left hook and the anguish on Khan’s face told its own story. This is when Gomez looked most likely to produce a shock win. He targeted the body of Khan with a succession of blows.

Everyone knows by now though that Khan is a tough nut to crack. Moving into the fifth and final round, he used his speed to hit Gomez with a series of lighting quick combinations. It was actually a blow to the body that saw Gomez go down. Capitalising on his new found dominance, Khan produced some quick fire left and right hands before the referee stopped the fight. Khan had won.

Gomez wasn’t happy with the decision, but I think that was testament to his determination to succeed more than anything else. Khan had come through the biggest scare of his professional career to win.

When he does become World Champion, he will look back on this fight as beneficial. It was the first time his skills had been properly tested and this will do him no harm. Credit goes to Gomez who played his part in a very entertaining fight.

Even though it only lasted just over five rounds, I was shattered at the end of it and I was only watching! Great stuff Amir and Michael – thoroughly enjoyed it. It was boxing at its best.

Written by Thomas Rooney – A Freelance Sports Journalist

No show from Amir Khan’s opponent

On June 18, 2008 by

In the build up to a fight, there is often nothing better than the pre-match press conference. The boxers have a slanging match, the promoters build up the the contest and everyone starts getting even more excited about the fight that is going to be taking place.

Such a press conference was due to take place for the Amir Khan v Michael Gomez fight, but the latter failed to turn up leaving Khan to conclude that the Manchester boxer is ‘running scared’.

The fight itself, presuming everyone turns up, will take place in Birmingham this Saturday. The golden boy of British boxing, Amir Khan, will be defending his Commonwealth lightweight title against Irish born Gomez who is also known as the ‘Irish Mexican’.

Khan has vowed to let his fists do the talking and in all honesty, you would bet on Amir Khan to do exactly that. After 17 professional fights he is still unbeaten and has every right to be confident of another victory. Gomez put up a fight though – he is an experienced campaigner with 35 wins to his name after all.

Gomez has also claimed that Khan isn’t ready to face him and that he has trained harder than ever. Without being too harsh on Gomez, he does have to train harder than ever if he is to have a chance against Khan. Gomez has lost three of his last six fights – all of which have come by the way of knockout. Hardly the sort of recent form you want to take with you before facing the unbeaten Amir Khan is it? He can train as hard as he likes – I don’t think it’s going to be enough.

With reference to boxing betting, it comes as no surprise that Khan is the favourite for this one. He is a fighter that progresses with every fight and this shouldn’t be any different. Many have criticised his opponent selection, stating that it is a backward step to be fighting someone at the back end of his career like Gomez and Khan won’t want this one to go the distance. If it does, expect some criticism to fly towards the Bolton boxer. I expect an explosive start and finish to the fight, resulting in another knock out blow for Gomez as Amir Khan marches on.

Prediction: Khan to knock Gomez out a minute into the fourth round.

Written by Thomas Rooney – A Freelance Sports Journalist

Pacman calls out the Hitman

On June 9, 2008 by

The Pacman wants a showdown with the Hitman in what would be another huge fight.

The Pacman is taking on David Diaz on June 28 and thinks that Hatton would be a terrific match – and he’s not wrong. Hatton is a top fighter and Pacquiao is up there at the top of most people’s p4p rankings alongside Joe Calzaghe. The problem is finding a time to fight.

Hatton has a deal to fight Paulie Malignaggi later in the year, a fight that would once again cement his place as the undisputed Junior Welterweight Champion. Also out there is Oscar De La Hoya who is now looking for a huge name to fight following the shock retirement of Floyd Mayweather Jr. at the weekend.

Whilst I would love to see Hatton and the Pacman go at it at 140lbs, I’m not holding my breath that it’ll happen before the turn of the year. However if they are serious then this fight is something that could happen in 2009 and boy that would be some scrap.

Mora in search of respect against Forrest

On June 4, 2008 by

‘The Man they call the Latin Snake’ may of won the $1million Contender final but he has yet to impress on the world scene. He wants some respect but he needs to take on well known fighters and beat them, and beat them good. Vernon Forrest is not a bum so Saturday’s fight is a big one for Mora. He needs a stand-up performance but I doubt we’ll see one.

Williams to lodge fight complaint

On June 3, 2008 by

I am a boxing fan. I love the sport and the big fights give the sort of buzz that big football matches do. However when you read stories like this then you really do have to wonder just how corrupt it is. I saw the fight on Daily Motion (Just type in Konstantin Airich on google and it is the second result) and really… Boxing is a great sport but this is a sad moment for it.

Lockett guns for Pavlik

On June 2, 2008 by

Gary Lockett steps up in class this Saturday night as he takes on Ring Champions Kelly Pavlik in Atlantic City.

The fight for the WBO & WBC World Middleweight titles sees the undefeated brawler from Youngstown, Ohio, take on Lockett who is trained by Enzo Calzaghe. Lockett is the massive underdog for the fight and many pundits are already turning their attention towards a possible fight with Joe Calzaghe in November, should Pavlik come through this test.

Pavlik has dispatched of Jermain Taylor with ease in his last two fights to show off his credentials and is rightly a big favourite. Lockett has never taken on a World Class fight so it is unclear just how good he is. Pavlik is the new darling of the boxing world and a fight against Calzaghe, probably at Super Middleweight, would make fans and pundits drool all over the globe.

First he has to dispatch Lockett and I don’t see any other outcome but a won by KO for the man they call The Ghost – Kelly Pavlik.

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