What we have here is a complete weapon at the peak of his powers in the sport of boxing right now and the division he occupies in 🇺🇸Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford (34-0-0, 25KO) who is looking to further expand his profile, and get to the fights he wants so that he can rubber-stamp the impressive career that he has put forth up to this point, and to further embed into our memory’s the virtuoso skill-level that he possesses.
In continuance of that path, he has to continue showing out & clearing suitable competition to get to that big crescendo, and his opponent here is one well suited to fight and put on the books as a credible opponent on his ascension up in the grand picture.
For 🇬🇧Amir ‘King’ Khan (33-4-0, 20KO), he has been on a different path, though a respectable one as well. He was a very well decorated Amateur boxer who compiled a 101-9 record, in which he found himself winning a Silver-Medal competing at the 2004 Olympic games in Athens. Since then, he has left an indelible mark in the sport by showcasing blinding hand and foot speed, and has a natural charisma that granted him notoriety while climbing the ranks and becoming a world Champion.
Due to a few components missing in his repotoire, he has encountered multiple setbacks in his career at the top level, but it doesn’t speak to his heart and willingness, as he routinely and actively seeks out the best to try to get to where he always wanted to go, which is a commendable quality in and of itself.
Now, to the breakdown itself. It is very difficult for any man or woman in this sport to game-plan against not just a confident & focused fighter, but also one that covers every skill that there is to teach in the sport, and that is the ‘Terence Crawford Conundrum’ for his opponents. He can box, he can pressure you, is very fundamental, a switch-hitter, intelligent, tough, can take a good punch, can deliver a good punch, and I can make a case for him being the most focused fighter in the sport when at work inside the ropes.
He is also (along with Canelo Alvarez) the best counter-puncher in all of boxing right now, and gets a thrill out of punishing his opponents when he smells blood in the water. The only thing you can really do with Bud is to continue to give him multiple different looks in each round to keep him second-guessing and reactive, and doing so by using a wide variation of differentiating skills to do so.
As mentioned earlier, Amir Khan has serious speed and quick-twitch reflexes, and you would get very little argument that he has the fastest hands in all of boxing right now. What he will find himself having a problem with is that if he has the fastest hands in boxing, then Crawford is Top-10 within that same criteria, and not only that, only a couple other fighters in the world can process information to the brain like Bud can right now in a reactive sense, so Khan won’t have an advantage in that area. Why that is a problem is because Khan’s weaknesses have been masked by that speed due to being fast enough to get out of harms way on many occasion.
It is disappointing and perplexing that he hasn’t adapted to his shortcomings, even after the knockouts when most Olympians are completely predecated on adaptation skills due to the varying styles that they meet in the Amateurs, and having a wide array of skills to match what’s presented in front of them, something Khan never had. Amir periodically drops his hands, keeps his chin up as he’s firing combinations as well as when he finishes, and he typically backs straight up while in the line of fire, allowing himself to be hit by the more clever boxers. Now against every other opponent, he has had serious hand or foot speed advantages against his opponents, and was virtually ahead on all the scorecards, including his knockout losses, which always left us as watchers to wonder “what would really happen if he could get through the big fights without his chin failing him?”
While it is an interesting question, this fight with Crawford will not apply, because Khan’s speed won’t help him like he’s always been accustomed to, and he doesn’t have any conceivable advantages over Bud Crawford. It may take Crawford a round or a round-and-a-half to adjust to Khan’s speed and gameplan while he’s downloading data, but after that, I expect Crawford to show dominance and beat Khan at his own game.
MY PREDICTION – TERENCE CRAWFORD KNOCKS AMIR KHAN OUT IN THE 6TH ROUND (KO6)