Dougie’s Monday mailbag
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WHAT’S NEXT FOR KING KHAN?
What's up Doug,
Amir Khan did a demolition job on Zab Judah, he just couldn't handle his speed and being Judah, he looked for the first excuse to quit. Even if the fight carried on, he would have got knocked the **** out in the next couple of rounds. You were slightly out on your prediction, eh Doug?! So how do you rank Amir now on that performance?
Tim Bradley will definitely not want anything to do with him even more now which is a shame but I don't think Amir is ready for the Mayweathers of these world yet. Where do you see him going from here and what next for Judah? — Shabs, London
I think Khan will face another solid 140 pounder either in December or early 2012, a second-tier welterweight by next summer and then a top 147 pounder in the fall or winter of ’12. I think it’s 50-50 that he’ll face Mayweather as early as next year. I don’t think he’s ready for Floyd now but maybe he will be in a year. Let’s wait and see.
I don’t think there’s anywhere for Judah to go. He’s going to be viewed as a stepping stone for up-and-comers or veterans on the rebound and rightfully so. He can still make a decent living, though. If he’s willing to go back to 147 pounds perhaps he can make for interesting East Coast/New York attractions vs. Paulie Malignaggi or Andre Berto. My guess is that there’s a target on his back that young guys like Sadam Ali and Jessie Vargas are taking aim at.
I disagree with your assumption that Bradley wants to avoid Khan. He may have made a poor business decision in opting out of the July 23 date with Khan, but I don’t think Desert Storm is scared of anyone.
Yeah, my prediction of Judah scoring a KO was WAY off. I should have known better and gone with the chalk as well as common sense regarding Judah. I thought Brooklyn was gonna be in the house. What the hell was I thinking? (Maybe I was brain washed by 1980s Hip Hop.) Brooklyn hasn’t been in the house as far as boxing is concerned since the mid-to-late ‘80s/early 90s (Mark Breland/Mike Tyson/Junior Jones/Riddick Bowe era).
Where does Khan rank after dominating the supposedly resurgent Judah? I think he’s right up there with Bradley at the top of the 140-pound division.
They’ve both defeated four RING-ranked junior welterweights. Khan beat Andreas Kotelnik, Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana, and Judah). Bradley beat Junior Witter, Kendal Holt, Nate Campbell and Devon Alexander. (Campbell, who was No. 10 at the time, probably shouldn’t have been ranked, but I thought Lamont Peterson, who Bradley beat next, deserved to be)
They’ve both unified major belts (Khan against Judah, Bradley against Holt and Alexander). They’ve both rallied from adversity (Bradley vs. Holt, Khan vs. Maidana).
Bradley probably deserves a slight edge in the rankings because he’s undefeated and he also has current lightweight standout Miguel Vazquez and then-undefeated welterweight Carlos Abregu on his resume, but Khan has to be given credit for trying to prove who’s better in the ring.
Hopefully they settle the debate in the ring sometime next year.
KHAN HE BE REAL?
I give all the credit in the world to Khan mainly because I favored Judah. Khan looked great period. He was quick, he paced himself and he looked better than ever, but I think I was sold into the fight. If you take a look at Judah’s last 10 fights, he lost to Cotto and Clottey without question and anyone with a brain knows he didn't really win against Matthysse. He then won a alphabet title against Mabuza which is completely a joke. The only notable fight he won in the last 6 years was against Spinks in 2005. Yes, he beat Jose Armando Santa Cruz, but this is a guy who's only a good gym fighter and never won a title or a fight against a good or elite fighter (no offense to Cruz, he has a lot of heart). I also don't mean to put Zab down, but I think his name makes him misleading a lot like Mosley's name does. I wouldn't exactly compare Mosley and Judah because there is no comparison, but Judah is just way past his prime. He is a guy who had all the talent in the world but failed to capitalize on it.
I'm not the biggest fan of Khan, but I give him credit because I did think he'd get chin checked. Either way I'd like to see him fight an elite young fighter like Bradley (not his fault), Ortiz, rematch with Maidana, Alexander, Berto or even Cotto. It's hard to really understand what Khan is right now because most of his victories against named opponents have question marks. Against Barrera (do I really need to say anything), Madaina (very close and could have even been a TKO in the 10th), Malignaggi (can't punch through a paper towel), Salita (really?), and Judah obviously way way past his prime. I want to see if Khan is the goods. He might be, but I have my doubts. All I know is I don't want to see him fight anybody next where it could be questioned. I do know whenever he fights next I will be watching. Impressive victory even if Zab is past his prime. Thoughts. — Michael
I don’t think Judah is as past his prime as you say he is. He’s only 33 and he’s only had one extended beating (to Cotto). Yeah, you can say his win streak was misleading, but I think he did well enough against solid fighters to prove that he still had most of the athleticism that made him a hot prospect back in the day. Mabuza was nothing special but he was on a nice run and hadn’t been stopped in almost eight years before Zab got him. I also thought Matthysse won, but not by much. Judah was good enough to keep it close against a very tough and underrated contender. I agree that Santa Cruz was probably a spent bullet when Judah faced him but remember, this is a kid who should have won THE RING/linear title against Joel Casamayor in November of 2007.
Anyway, my point is, Khan deserves more credit than you seem to be giving him for taking Judah’s heart. So what if he almost lost to Maidana? Victor Ortiz did lose to that beast and now he’s a welterweight titleholder about to defend against Floyd Mayweather and he’s someone you regard as an “elite young fighter” for Khan to further test himself against.
There’s a good chance that Khan fights the winner of Guerrero-Maidana in the near future. I think we know that he’s willing to fight the best, so bouts against Ortiz and Berto (which would be fun) will probably eventually happen. (Cotto’s too heavy right now and who knows if he’ll still be fighting by the end of next year.)
WORST LOSS OF JUDAH’S CAREER
Judah was never in the fight. Most one sided loss of his career in my opinion.
Do you think Khan should bother trying to entice Bradley into a unification fight or should he call out the Mayweather-Ortiz winner? — Gopal
It wouldn’t hurt to do both, Gopal. I think a showdown with Bradley would still very meaningful to the sport and to Khan’s legacy so I would love to see talks for that ultimate 140-pound title unification bout resume next year (or whenever Timmy gets his legal stuff taken care of). And of course, the Mayweather-Ortiz winner is the opportunity for the British star to earn a small fortune and instantly vault to the top of the pound-for-pound lists, which is a goal of his.
I think Bradley should come before the Mayweather-Ortiz winner.
Good point about the Judah fight. He won the first round against Tszyu and had some early moments vs. Cotto. He was never in the fight vs. Khan. And I give Khan credit for that.
KHAN’S ALREADY NO. 1
What up man! Just a quick comment. The HBO commentators kept asking if Khan could do something special enough to leap frog Bradley, well not only did he leap frog him, he drowned him in the pond and is the clear #1 in the division and P4P worthy in my opinion. How much greater would this sport be if all the best fighters were as willing to fight the best as Khan is? Your thoughts?
(PS-whoever thought Judah would win by KO must be on drugs =p haha keep up the great work!) — Adrian "Dre", Milwaukee, WI
I wish I had the excuse of drugs for that pick. I was 100% sober and felt pretty good about it, which is why I’m glad I don’t bet on the fights. Hell, even when I’m right (Matthysse over Alexander, Lara over Williams) I get it wrong in this crazy sport.
However, I was glad to be wrong about Khan. He’s the real deal in my estimation. I don’t think he’s the clear No. 1 junior welterweight. An argument can be made for both he and Bradley, but I am certain that he’s going to become an international star in the sport and it’s because of his willingness to not only take on top fighters but his eagerness to beat them in decisive and entertaining fashion.
It was very classless of Zab to basically deny Amir of what was a masterful performance. Like you have said, Amir is one of the most gifted fighters you’ve ever witnessed. I never want to see Zab again. Dude is delusional. He got beat the hell down, period. Pretty Boy himself would want nothing to do with Khan. Next p4p superstar
Oh, and by the way, Pernell Whitaker is still annoying. — Robert
I know “Sweet Pea” can be a surly butthead at times but he but he but gets a pass from me because he was such a professional during his fighting days. I felt bad for Whitaker during the fight. He tried like hell to motivate Judah into behaving like a real champ, but no trainer can give his fighter the will to win or fight through adversity. He’s either got that character or he doesn’t. As annoying as he was and continues to be, Whitaker had it. Khan has it. Judah doesn’t.
Khan was classy and gracious during the post-fight press conference. He didn’t s__t on Judah. I think you and Richard Schaefer might be right about Khan being a future pound-for-pound level boxer.
It remains to be seen if Mayweather avoids Khan. The 140-pound standout has yet to even test the waters at 147 pounds.
Man, that was a shellacking that Khan put on Judah. I call BS on Judah's attempt to bail from the fight. His body language was all it took to know that he was looking for the exit at the first opportunity. He was being worked over pretty good, so I doubt many people would have wanted to be in there either. Kudos to him for taking the fight. Zab may not win his toughest fights, and he doesn't handle extreme adversity well, but that little guy- at least he will take and make the fights. A couple of elite fighters that I know could take some lessons.
It looks to me like Khan may have improved his inside game some, but it's not like Judah was going at him like Maidana. Based on the Maidana fight, it didn't look like Khan was comfortable at inside fighting. Knowing the mindset of Roach, I would think that is an area of target for continued improvement.
Another observation- Khan is listed on Boxrec.com as having a 71" reach, and past fights it's been listed at 72". Maidana is listed on boxrec as 70", and Judah at 72". I didn't see what they had last night, and some shmuck at HBO thinks the "arm-length" is more important than the historical wingspan measurement anyway. My point is that Khan's reach seems much longer than that the other fighter's. Do ya think it's how he fights (leaning forward, and striking long), or are the measurements possibly wrong?
Another observation: Judah never really seems to make adjustments in a fight. Same with Shane Mosley. When Judah was getting right in the middle of Mayweather for the first few rounds, it was a good fight, but as soon as Mayweather started making adjustments, Zab couldn't and it was all Mayweather from then on. Same with Mosley vs. Forrest (RIP Viper), Wright, and Mayweather.
Lastly, don't sweat the prediction. I know you're gonna catch Hell from everyone, but I thought it was a fair assessment, and if my buddy could have posted the bet online last night- I woulda lost $100 lol. As I've seen you say time and again- that's why they fight the fights.
Curious about your thoughts on Khan's chances against Bradley and the rest of the crew at 140 lbs. Too early for 147 lbs, and there's still some good fights at 140lbs. — Brandon D. McMorries, Tarzan, Texas
As awesome as Khan looked against Judah I still think the Bradley fight is a toss up. Bradley’s got a difficult, chameleon-like style. He’s versatile and very determined. Bradley finds a way to win as well as Judah seems to find ways to lose his big fights.
Bradley’s lack of power is definitely a plus for Khan, but I think he can make his supposed height disadvantage (the Californian is only 5-foot-6) into an advantage with the right tactics.
I agree there are still a few good fights for Khan at 140 pounds before his imminent move to 147.
I’m not sweating the prediction. And guess what? I haven’t been inundated with a__holes telling me off or telling me “I told you so!” I think most fans know that I’ll give Khan his just due for the victory.
You’re right about Judah not making adjustments. Bradley does, which the key reason I think he’ll be competitive with Khan.
Regarding Khan’s reach, I think the wingspan listed on Boxrec (which HBO uses) was taken when he turned pro. He’s grown in the last six years (taller and rangier). I know he’s taller than 5-foot-10, just like Paul Williams is much taller than the 6-foot-1 Boxrec.com lists him at. Young men typically continue to grow into their early 20s. I definitely think the way Khan boxes (in and out from a distance, body at an angle, slightly reaching — sometimes lunging — with each shot) adds to the range of his punches.
I can’t tell if Khan’s inside game has improved. He didn’t need it with Judah. I think he’ll need to make sure that he can fight on the inside before taking on Bradley, Guerrero or even Maidana again (he can’t always count on having referee Joe Cortez to protect him from getting mauled in close).
Good point about Judah. He has enough self-belief to sign the dotted line to fight the top dogs on the planet. Too bad he lacks the character to really try to win against the best when the going gets tough.
BRING ON KHAN-MATTHYSSE
That was a total beatdown. You could see Zab was looking for a way out
and he found it. Lucas Matthyse got screwed in his last two fights. How about a nice payday for him against Khan next? That would be interesting. Take care. — Harry B Stratford, Ct.
Interesting? S__t, I’d buy tickets to that fight. Make it happen Golden Boy!
PLEASE, NO PRESCOTT REMATCH
Good performance from Khan against Judah. Judah didn’t use his jab at all in that fight to setup shots. He was very inactive throughout the duration of the fight. Amir had his blistering hand speed as usual, combinations etc. I, like you predicted that Judah would give him trouble and would land big on him, come inside and hit him with that uppercut which surely would have rocked him.
I don't like the idea of an 'avenge' match v Prescott. I think he has developed so much since then and it will end up as one sided as Khan v McCloskey, Khan v Judah. Your thoughts? Thanks again Doug. — Malcolm, Dublin
I agree that Khan is head and shoulders above Prescott, but I think the rematch is viable as a stay-busy fight in the UK and it’s important to a lot of fighters to avenge there sole defeats. That’s what all the truly great fighters did and Khan clearly wants to create a special legacy before hanging up his gloves.
I give Prescott almost no shot of beating Khan again, but what do I know? I thought Judah would KO Khan.
As fast and reflexive as Khan is, especially with the feints the young man works into his offense, Judah had no shot at landing that big left uppercut without a jab.
SALIDO-LOPEZ II, GARCIA-RUSSELL
How do you see the Salido-Lopez rematch going? Lopez has shown he can't out-slug Salido, whose chin is too good. Also, Lopez has shown that he can't take Salido's bombs. (Even if you think the ref's stoppage was premature, I have no doubt that Orlando would've KO'd Juanma eventually.) So, I'll take Salido by KO in another barnburner.
As to Bradley and Khan, I'll begin by saying that I'm no big "Desert Storm" fan. However, this "Bradley is ducking Khan" mantra is hogwash. Bradley turned down a Khan fight in hopes of landing a Pac fight. Unfortunately for Bradley, Pac picked Marquez. I have a problem with accusing a fighter of "ducking" another fighter when the supposed "ducker" is trying to land a fight with the P4P king. It kind of reminds me a bit of Hearns and McCallum (or Duran and McCallum) in that Duran supposedly "ducked" McCallum to fight Hearns and Hearns supposedly "ducked" McCallum to fight Hagler. Of course, Khan isn't anywhere near the class of either Hearns or Hagler. (Great feature on McCallum, by the way; keep them coming.)
(P.S. Last night, the commentators briefly discussed Gary Russell and his goal to fight for a title in a year or so. They also compared his hand speed to Gamboa's. How would you see a match-up at the end of this year playing out between Russell and Mikey Garcia?) Take care. — Patrick
Garcia-Russell would be a very good fight because of Garcia‘s solid technique and greater experience and Russell‘s versatility and superior athletic ability. Russell’s speed and lateral movement would trouble Garcia, who is a bit flat footed and methodical. However, I think Garcia is more advanced than Russell and would win a decision or catch and stop the talented southpaw late. Garcia is a solid 10-round fighter who has prepared himself to go 12 on at least three occasions. Russell has yet to move up to 10-round bouts. Any talk of him fighting the likes of Garcia is premature at this point.
I don’t think Garcia would be interested in that fight, anyway. He’s aiming for a title shot. Fighting Russell would be a step back. Who knows, though? If Garcia wins a major title perhaps one of his future defenses will come against Russell. In a year or so, this could be the best fight to be made in the 126-pound division.
I agree that the “Bradley fears Khan” mantra is hogwash.
I think Lopez will focus 100% on out-boxing Salido in their rematch and win a close, maybe controversial, decision.
Hope things are going well.
Khan's "knockout blow" of Judah was certainly on the beltline, but Judah's trunks had climbed up when he bent down, so I don't have a problem with it. It did appear that Judah was looking for a way out after being dominated. But, what can't be overlooked were those two hellacious headbutts. Judah got the worst of both. Still, it wouldn't have changed the outcome.
With all the upsets of undefeated prospects this year, I was wondering: Who are some prospects that you think will be top 10 p4p guys. Prospects have so many record-building fights, it can be tough to separate the pretenders from the future contenders?
And, perhaps a different question, it might fun, if impossible, to predict the top 10 p4p in 5 years. Any thoughts on your top 10 p4p for 2016, or is that too farfetched? Be well. — David, Washington DC
It’s far fetched but I’ll give it a try. Here’s my pound-for-pound top five in 2016: 1. Nonito Donaire, 2. whoever wins an eventual showdown between Khan and Bradley, 3. Andre Ward, 4. Robert Guerrero, and 5. Victor Ortiz. (The bottom five will be some new blood, Jorge Linares and Ismayl Sillakh, and some “old guys” who are hanging on, Pacquiao, Mayweather and Sergio Martinez.)
The only two undefeated prospects that I see P4P potential in are Russell and Sillakh because they have the right combination of extensive amateur background, talent (speed, power, reflexes, poise), skill and potential opponents who can vault them into the P4P.
Russell’s got the likes of Yuriorkis Gamboa, Guillermo Rigondeaux, and Chris John to one day battle. Sillakh’s got B-hop, Chad Dawson, and the top 168 pounders who will likely step up to 175 pounds in the next two or three years. And before they face the elite fighters in their division they have solid contenders to prove themselves against, such as Mikey Garcia and Tavoris Cloud.