Tonight’s boxing sees Amir Khan and pound for pound star Terence Crawford dance under the lights of MSG, and in typical fight-week fashion, many fight fans are out in force to discuss, and joke about the likeliness of the Bolton man getting stopped in the opening couple of rounds.
Whilst no one is denying the fragility of Khan’s chin over the years, one must argue that the ’04 British Olympic silver medallist carries just as big a threat, with devastating hand-speed and notable power of his own.
It may come as a surprise to the casuals, and the goldfish-like-memory fans but, Amir has only been stopped three times in his career, and has been in with some of the boxing elite, a number of whom were notably big punchers.
His first KO loss coming over a decade ago at the hands Breidis Prescott.
Yes, it is true that Crawford went on to beat Prescott on points, however, this was many years later, after fellow Brits Kevin Mitchell and Paul McCloskey had already broken the heart of the declining Colombian.
The latter of whom was beaten by Khan in 2011.
Fast forward then, to the Bolton fighter’s third KO loss in May 2016 to Canelo.
Whilst this was a devastating loss, and a bad KO, it is important to remember that Amir jumped two weight categories to take on one of the most feared fighters on the planet.
Not to mention that he was excellent for the six rounds that he lasted in the ring with the heavy-handed Mexican.
In fact, many believe Khan was up on points that night before being caught with a fight-stopping punch.
It is only when you begin to dissect and analyse a fighter’s record, that you can begin to truly see the bravery, toughness, and resolve of a fighter.
Any pugilist worth their salt will tell you that a nice neat list full of W’s, with a pretty ‘0’ on the end means absolutely nothing on its own.
You have to look at who they have fought, how they have returned from a loss and what have they learned from previous fights.
If you take for example, the two most linked fighters in the welterweight division, Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr, and then throw Amir Khan into the mix.
When you do this, and comb through their records with all of the above in mind, the most discernible piece of data that you can take from these comparisons, is that Khan has undeniably been in with far superior opposition, and is the only one of the three that has been truly tested.
The Prescott comparison aside, you can look at Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas whom Errol and Amir have both beaten.
However, this is where the similarities between the three boxers end.
Of course, Crawford and Spence Jr have been in tough fights, and they do indeed have their ‘0’ intact, but as previously stated, that means nothing unless you have come through adversity.
Returning now to the KO losses, listening to casual fans go on, you could be forgiven for thinking that Amir Khan has been knocked out on a regular occasion.
However, it must be repeated that he has in fact only been stopped three times in fifteen years.
The Bolton born, former world champion, has been in some of the biggest fights, and has never been shy of fighting away from home soil.
The Brit still has the hand-speed and agility to cause any fighter in the world problems.
AND CRITICALLY, perhaps one of the most forgotten facts in boxing, Amir Khan suffered with hand issues for a number of years which prevented him from punching at full power.
It was only upon the Canelo defeat that Khan finally had surgery to correct this in 2016.
A procedure which the surgeon confirmed was a full success.
By his own volition, Amir admitted that until this surgery on his hand, he was punching at only 40% power, but went onto say that he was confident the surgery had put an end to this problem, and that future fights would show the difference.
This proved to be the case when upon his return, Khan blasted out Lo Greco in the opening round of their 2018 bout.
Of course, as with any sport, thoughts and opinions on what might happen are all subjective until the sporting event has occurred, at which point, the facts are gathered and any thoughts and opinion can then become objective based on the result.
Tomorrow night isn’t a guarantee for either fighter, but the question marks over Khan which have resulted in him going into this fight as the underdog, are a bit wide of the mark.
Khan goes into this fight with a more than fair chance of coming out on top, and before Crawford can even think of Errol Spence Jr, he first has to show that he is on an elite level by beating an elite level fighter in Khan.
Sports fans have already seen Tiger Woods return to the top of the golfing world this month, why not add another rising-from-the-ashes moment to the sports list.
After all, golfer Woods, and boxer Khan have both had similar life experiences to a small degree.
They have both spent a good deal of time at the top of their respective sports and have both enjoyed great evenings of sporting success.
However, both Woods and Khan have bother suffered personal, domestic setbacks over the years, as well as injuries which have culminated in a lack of stability and concentration on a number of occasions.
Both men have been defiant throughout and have emerged as better men, and sportsmen for it.
Woods, forced to adjust his game after enduring a long road back, has now re-emerged as a champion. In tonight’s boxing, can Amir Khan do the same, and roll back the years at the MSG?
Yes, Yes, he can…
The Terence Crawford vs Amir Khan live stream tonight will be available for BT Sport subscribers in the UK and Ireland and for ESPN subscribers in the US.