Monday, March 16, 2009

Don't call it a comeback

Amir Khan's battle with Barrera this weekend was quite surprising.  From the fans booing Khan at the intro to the final outcome of the fight, the evening itself seemed to be cloaked in a bit of the surreal.  Boxing fans have since been debating whether Barrera would have performed better had he not been caught on the unlucky end of an accidental head-butt in the first round, however it seems pretty clear that Khan came to win and was setting the pace for victory from the sound of the bell.

What was most surprising was Khan's defense.  (He actually had one).  Seems his training with legendary coach, Freddie Roach has been paying off in that department, though Barrera got through it and caught the young Khan with a nasty left hook towards the end of the second round.  But other than a few flurries here and there from the veteran pugilist, it was pretty much the Amir Khan show until the fight was stopped after the 5th round by the doctor at ringside.

Although the fight was one-sided from the gate, criticisms still loom about Amir Khan's "comeback" from his devastating first-round knockout loss to Breidis Prescott six months ago.  Perhaps a rematch is in order for fans to finally believe Khan has moved on and grown as a fighter, or maybe bouts with a higher level of opponent will prove to nay-sayers that Khan is on the path to greatness.  Freddie Roach seems to think so, saying in an interview post-fight that Khan would be his next world champion, without a doubt.

What it comes down to is to what level Barrera's performance was hindered by the cut.  Some say he couldn't get it going because he couldn't see, but in my opinion, he wasn't doing so well before the cut and it is without a doubt that Khan was going to win that fight regardless.

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