Matt Bevan (@MBevs68)
So this past weekend we have seen the sport receive plenty of coverage once again following the “mega-fight” in Las Vegas between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Amir Khan, which ended in Khan getting knocked out in the 6th, despite a good performance.
Khan performed admirably, as he always does, and was boxing well, but as we all know, all it takes is one shot and what a shot it was. A huge right hand bomb detonated on Amir’s chin and robbed him of all his senses, but it was Canelo’s sportsmanship immediately after.
We regularly see fighters running around and jumping all over the place after a spectacular knockout, not paying any attention to the status of their opponent. Now a lot of it is done in the heat of the moment, which is understandable, but the way Canelo waited by Khan’s side before celebrating should be commended.
Canelo is already the biggest draw in boxing for me, his reputation growing with every fight. He also comes across as a genuine and respectful character, which is a nice change from the brash and extrovert that capture the attention and will appeal more to the masses.
As for Khan, he deserves nothing but respect and more than played his part. There have been some saying he has taken an unnecessary risk fighting Canelo and put his health at risk, but isn’t that the same for every fighter in every fight they take.
Yes, he stepped up two weights to fight the Mexican, but at least he had the guts to take on the one of the biggest and best names in the sport, as well as trying to prove to us that he is the best. Perhaps other fighters should pay attention to this and do it themselves.
Khan may irk people at times and his rants about fighters ducking him can be tiresome, but whatever your involvement in the sport, whether it be a paying customer, a member of the press row or another fighter on the bill, you’re going to stop and see what happens in his fight.
The Bolton man is guaranteed entertainment, which is why his name is always linked to the biggest fights in the sport. Despite his loss at the weekend, he remains the mandatory challenger to Danny Garcia’s WBC welterweight strap, which would be a rematch from a few years back.
Garcia stopped Khan that night, once again in devastating fashion, but I think all fans would want to see them go at it once more. Of course there are calls for him to take on Kell Brook with Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn almost goading Khan in to the fight, but at the end of the day, as I’ve stated many times in these columns, Khan doesn’t need Brook.
I’ll be as gutted as everyone else if it doesn’t happen, as the best should take on the best, but it looks like this one is never going to happen in much the same vein as Ricky Hatton and Junior Witter. It’s a shame, but the mooted fights between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo and Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward are more important by a long stretch.
Meanwhile, I was in Manchester on Saturday for Anthony Crolla’s world title defence against Ismael Barroso. I’m not going to break down the card as I’ll instead urge you to a read a piece by John Evans who was also there, which does it perfectly. http://www.livefight.com/news.php?news_id=4937
I will agree with one thing he said, which I eluded too last week, which is how poor the quality of these cards are. Saturday, Crolla aside, was pretty woeful at best and it’s a massive shame, as Crolla deserves better than defending his belt in an arena covered more with curtains than fans.
So, what can Matchroom do about it? Well for a start, rather than blowing money on bringing Michael Buffer over, how about putting together a half decent fight. Shayne Singleton and Adil Anwar’s battle was reasonably enjoyable, but it shouldn’t have been on the televised card with some of the other names on the bill.
How many tune up fights do we need to see on one bill? It seems that Matchroom have forgotten all about the other bills and are focusing everything on Anthony Joshua’s cards at the O2 Arena. We pay a fortune for Sky Sports and I’m sure they’re taking enough money from the AJ bills, to get a half decent opponent for the likes of Martin Murray or Tommy Coyle.
It’s a tried and tested method of presenting a name for those in the arena and sticking him in with an overmatched opponent, who he proceeds to easily dispatch in a couple of rounds and send everyone home happy. If Murray has a big fight with George Groves coming up, why risk an injury and stick him in the ring?
But, what good does it actually do and what is the point, other than adding another win to the record? Trust me, being ringside on the press row on Saturday was like waiting to be executed by firing squad. Until the Crolla fight, the most entertaining part of the night was a near fight between a security guard and one of our favourite twitter entertainers over a jelly baby.
There are plenty who look down on Area title fights, but to be honest, I’m losing interest in the big arena cards and turning back to the small hall. A fighter on his way up should be looking at an Area belt, rather than fighting a South American dustman for a tin plate title sanctioned by one of the governing bodies.
Why not put a fighter in some early fights to gain the attention, before going for it and an Area belt after 7 or 8 fights, almost like a sink or swim moment, instead of letting them build a padded record to the likes of 16-0 and capitulating the first time an opponent throws a shot back.
That way we get the more competitive fights we want to see and the fighters need for their progression. Matchroom are letting us down at the moment and quite frankly it’s boring. If they moan that they haven’t got enough dates with Sky, then here’s a novel idea. Use the Fight Pass for what it what was actually designed for and not just a ticketing site.
If you’ve got that many fighters to keep happy, then use the Fight Pass to set up a card with a local promoter, like was supposed to happen in the first place, and put them on cards in their area, keeping the fanbase happy and not shelling out to travel all over the country.
Anyway rant over for this week. There will be more next week.