By Keith Idec
Amir Khan thinks Terence Crawford agreed to fight him at least in part due to what Crawford saw from him against Samuel Vargas.
Vargas knocked down Khan late in the second round of their fight September 8. That knockdown created even more doubt about Khan among many boxing fans, even though the former IBF/WBA 140-pound champion came back to defeat Vargas convincingly.
England’s Khan recovered quickly from that flash knockdown, dropped Vargas again in the third round and easily won a 12-round unanimous decision six months ago in Birmingham, England. That win enabled Khan to advance into position to challenge Crawford for the unbeaten three-division champion’s WBO welterweight title April 20 at Madison Square Garden.
Promoter Bob Arum has guaranteed Khan at least $5 million to challenge one of Top Rank Inc.’s two franchise fighters that night in New York. The 31-year-old Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) is arguably the best boxer, pound-for-pound, in the sport and thus is regularly listed as a 16-1 favorite over Khan (33-4, 20 KOs).
Khan obviously considers those unfavorable odds unjustifiable.
“One thing I want to say is there is a lot of talk about Crawford with [Errol] Spence, who just came off a fight,” Khan said during a conference call Tuesday. “All of those people should be talking about Spence against me. I’m not just a number. I know when I have to turn it on, I can turn it on. Maybe in previous fights, I won the fight, but maybe I didn’t look the best. But I know I belong at the level above. I am one of those fighters that if I am fighting a guy that is supposed to be at the top of his game, that will bring me to the top of my game and bring the best out of me.
“If Crawford is talking about maybe that [Spence] fight happening and overlooking me, it’s going to be a big shock. I’m going to be ready. We’ve both been hurt in fights. I am a fully-fledged welterweight. This division is hard, and I’ve had good knockouts. I’m an unbeaten welterweight fighter and it is the weight I feel comfortable at, and the weight where I feel stronger as well, and the speed and the perfect size.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.