Tuesday January 15th 2019
Myles Cutliffe – UCFB Sports Business & Broadcasting student
An ageing Amir Khan has signed to fight Terrence ‘Bud’ Crawford in the US on the 20th of April, shelving a battle of Britain against Kell Brook for the time being. Khan was approached by American promoter Bob Arum and asked if he wanted a fight with Crawford, the undefeated WBO welterweight champion, an offer the Briton couldn’t refuse.
This fight will be Khan’s biggest test since Canelo Alvarez. Crawford, a dynamic knockout artist, dominated the light welterweight division before moving up in weight. With power in both hands and an ability to switch stances at will, Crawford’s style gets the crowd on their feet.
Khan, 32, will see this as possibly the last opportunity to challenge for a major belt. British boxing fans were hoping of an all English showdown with Brook, yet Khan opted for the chance to snap up the WBO belt. A fight with Brook is still something that Khan is open to at some point in the near future, it is clear though now Khan wants to test himself at the highest possible level one last time.
Crawford burst onto the scene in 2013 when he defeated Scotland’s Ricky Burns in Glasgow for the WBO lightweight strap. In his following fight, he took out Olympic gold medallist Yuriorkis Gamboa, knocking out the unbeaten granite chinned Cuban in spectacular fashion. Crawford went on to become the lineal lightweight champion, before moving up to light-welterweight where he again became lineal champion.
Now fighting at welterweight, scoring two impressive TKO victories over Jeff Horn and Jose Benavidez Jr, Crawford has proven that he has not sacrificed any power by moving up in weight. Khan will need to revise a strict game-plan in order to steer clear of Crawford’s punching power, something he was not able to do against Danny Garcia and Canelo – in both losses Khan started the bouts encouragingly.
Although he switches his stances as he throws punches, Crawford is naturally a southpaw. Khan has never lost to a southpaw, nor has he lost a fight in the welterweight division. This fight sees Khan return to his old trainer Virgil Hunter, the pair boast a 5-1 record when working together, the only loss coming to the monstrous Canelo.
This fight provides the perfect opportunity for Khan to bring back the glory days and upset the world. However, Khan’s critics are uncertain he can match the dynamism of Crawford, one thing is for certain – expect fireworks come April 20th.