By Scott Gilfoid: Amir “King” Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) has been removed from the World Boxing Council’s top 15 rankings this week after 1 year of inactivity. Khan, 30, last fought on May 7, 2016 in getting knocked cold in the 7th round by Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in a fight televised on HBO PPV. Khan subsequently had hand surgery that required him to stay out of the ring to heal.
Khan had talked at length about fighting in April in a tune-up fight. Khan even turned down a big money fight against Kell Brook because he was interested in taking a tune-up. The latest news from the Khan front is he’ll be returning in a big fight near the end of the year against a top fighter.
It’s unclear who that would be. In the meantime, the WBC has dropped Khan from the No.2 spot that he’d been at. Before that, Khan was ranked No.1 with the WBC. Khan was in the perfect spot to challenge WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia before he fought WBA champion Keith Thurman in a unification fight. It would have been perfect if Khan and Garcia had fought each other.
The fight would have attracted a great deal of interest from the boxing community. Khan had also said that he would be interested in fighting Thurman if he got past Garcia. However, we haven’t heard much from Khan about wanting to face Thurman now that he’s beaten Garcia. I heard a lot of crickets chirping but nothing from Khan about wanting to fight Thurman now that he’s gotten past Thurman.
The WBC’s current top 15 at welterweight:
1. Shawn Porter
2. Danny Garcia
3. Jessie Vargas
4. Konstantin Ponomarev
5. Adrien Broner
6. Carlos Molina
7. Quadratillo Aduqaxorov
8. Lucas Matthysse
9. Ray Robinson
10. Andre Berto
11. Sam Eggingon
12. Ceferino Rodriguez
13. Cesar Miguel Barrionuevo
14. Kerman Lejarraga
15. Dmitry Mikhaylenko
As you can see, Danny Garcia has taken Khan’s former #2 spot in the World Boxing Council’s rankings. Garcia lost his WBC welterweight title last March in a close 12 round decision loss to Thurman. The WBC was good enough to keep Garcia in their top 15 and not remove him entirely from the rankings like we saw with the International Boxing Federation after Shawn Porter lost his IBF welterweight title to Kell Brook by a narrow 12 round majority decision.
Khan can probably get ranked quickly by the WBC if he starts showing interest in fighting again. But at this point, I’m not sure if boxing is a high priority for Khan. He’s constantly talking about traveling on his social media site. it almost seems like Khan’s interest in the sport isn’t what it should be for him to be a top level fighter. You’d like to see a fighter live and breathe boxing, and fight regularly.
With Khan, I don’t see the interest there. He’s got a lot of other activities that he does. I don’t know if he’s interested enough in the sport for him to still be a major playr at 147 or any division he fights in.
I’m not sure that Khan could beat even a fringe contender like #11 WBC Sam Eggington at this point in his career. I don’t see Eggington as major player a welterweight, but I don’t Khan as one either. With Eggington’s stamina, high work rate and strong chin, I believe he would walk Khan down, wear him down in the second half of the fight, and knock him out. It would be a good fight to see Khan and Eggington face each other.
Khan needs a tune-up at this point to shake off the ring rust and get back in the winning ways. I don’t think Khan has any interest whatsoever in taking a tune-up, possibly it’s risky for him due to his inactivity and stamina issues. Eggington would be a nightmare for Khan right now. A prime Khan would likely destroy Eggington in an embarrassingly easy win, but not the inactive Khan that we’ve seen in the last few years. Khan hasn’t fought enough for him to keep his boxing skills sharp.
Khan’s options aren’t as good as they once were with his boxing career. Khan’s last win was 2 years ago in beating Chris Algieri by a very unimpressive 12 round unanimous decision on May 29. Algiteri fought like a power puncher in walking Khan down, battering him with his best shots and causing him some worry. Khan looked like he was fading in the second half of the Algieri.
Khan’s stamina was nowhere, which isn’t surprising because he hadn’t been fighting a lot since 2010. Khan talks about his next fight being a big one near the end of this year. We’ll have to see who this big name is going to be. Khan was hoping to get a big money fight against Manny Pacquiao in Dubai, but there wasn’t the money there for the fight to happen.
There was someone that was interested in making the Pacquiao-Khan fight in Dubai, but when Pacquiao and his team attempted to make the deal, they found out that the money wasn’t there. Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum said there’s still a chance that a Khan can fight can be made. It doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen. Pacquiao has a fight on July 2 against Jeff Horn. If Pacquiao wins that fight, Arum will likely push for a Pacquiao vs. Terence Crawford fight at the end of the year. In other words, I don’t see Khan EVER getting a fight against Pacquiao.
If Khan can’t a huge money fight at the end of the year, then he should take a soft tune-up fight to stay busy to get ready for a big money fight against Kell Brook. That fight is likely Khan’s only real option for a big money match at this point in his boxing career. Khan has already been knocked out by Canelo Alvarez. There’s only one big name at 147 in Pacquiao, and that fight isn’t likely ever going to happen.
The 154lb division only has one popular fighter in Miguel Cotto, and I don’t think he’s popular enough for a fight between him and Khan to make money. Unless Khan wants to fight Gennady Golovkin, I don’t see anyone out there for him to fight for big money other than Kell Brook. Adrien Broner would be a decent fight for Khan, but I don’t see that being a big money match.
Broner’s career has failed to take off in a big way following his loss to Marcos Maidana in 2013. Broner was lucky to win his last fight against Adrian Granados. A lot of boxing fans thought Broner deserved to lose that fight. Khan can still fight Broner, but I think it would be risky for him to take that fight. The money wouldn’t be huge for Khan, and he could lose. A loss for Khan would definitely hurt the interest in a Khan vs. Brook fight in the UK.