What the Hell is Wrong with Amir Kahn? by Vinny “Glory Days” Lucci

Some of the better, hardworking boxing writers include: (l to r, top to bottom) the late Bert Sugar, wise guy Vinny Lucci, George Kimball, Miguel Maravilla, David A. Avila, Felipe Leon and his podcast partner Renzo Novara, not pictured Thomas Hauser, Hugh McIlvanney, Kevin Iole, Steve Farhood, Max Kellerman, Larry Merchant, Thomas Hauser, etc., etc.

Every once in awhile it’s good form to recognize your peers for their ability to write an outstanding article. Mr. Vinny Lucci has a flare for using gripping, memorable phrases to peek your interest from sentence one right through to the end of his articles. On January 26, 2017, Mr. Lucci hit another one out of the park when writing about Amir Khan’s present dilemma. The article is such a good read, we just had to pass it on.


 

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There’s a very fine line between love and hate, common sense and reckless abandon, stardom and being a has-been, and right now Amir Kahn is treading water. The likable and talented Brit somehow has confused reality with showmanship and now is in serious jeopardy of “wanna-be” status. Since 2013, he has fought a mere five times winning four decisions and being left for dead courtesy of a single Canelo Alvarez right hand. Amir took the bout that guaranteed him a 13 million dollar payday which was courtesy of fighting the best active pay per view attraction who the world knew would win by knockout, not because anyone in their right mind envisioned Kahn’s lightning fast hand speed or crafty footwork to nullify the Junior Middleweight champion’s power and skills.

Seems everyone was in on the joke but Amir. Canelo is famous for picking fights with smaller men or forcing catch weights in contracts. I suppose the brain thrust in his camp figured it to be a can’t lose proposition. Lose the fight and the world says, “well look who he just lost to”. The flip side is you earn a king’s ransom. Handicapping that fight was particularly easy considering how brittle Kahn’s chin has been in the past. He was starched in one by Breidis Prescott in 54 seconds. He was dropped by Marcos Maidana winning a questionable decision and was stopped by Danny Garcia in four rounds. The icing on the cake was his prior performance over rubber band Chris Algieri. This was supposed to be a warm-up bout over rated welterweight contender after Manny Pacquiao exposed Chris by dropping him no less than seven times. Kahn won a unanimous decision in defending his pathetic consolation belt, the WBC Silver welterweight title but not before getting staggered several times by the feather fisted challenger who had only 8 stoppages on his record.

Since nobly going out on his shield courtesy of Canelo and on cue I might add, Amir has been mired in a plethora of personal problems while his boxing career is mired in ambiguity. He balked at fighting IBF welterweight champion Kell “Special K” Brook at Wembley Stadium where both British fighters would have broken monetary records across the pond and instead elected to fight Alvarez. Here’s the thorn in the rose that makes fans dislike Kahn. He insisted Kell, an undefeated welterweight champion with a legit belt and three title defenses go out and make a name for himself first!

For the uninformed, there are several ways to cherry pick the boxing vine. You can seek the contenders who have been dropped more often than a cell phone call or simply make outrageous money demands that can never be met and move on. Asking Brook to go make a name for himself was a smoke screen that read like a billboard. He didn’t want the fight at any price.

Kell did take his advice and instead of picking on another defenseless IBF number one contender he decided to jump two divisions and fight arguably the best fighter alive in middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin. Surprisingly this bout wasn’t predicted to be the suicide match that Alvarez/Kahn was. Kell entered ring ripped with muscle and stunned the champion with many power punches especially when he added the uppercut to his arsenal. Golovkin returned the favor and wound up fracturing Brooks skull with a broken eye socket. The bout was stopped not a minute too soon at 1:58 mark of round five. Brook’s trainer threw in towel probably saving the boxer’s life but “Special K” left his brand behind. Never before have I seen the champion’s face adorned with so many bruises and welts.

Since then Amir Khan had nagging hand problems and had it surgically rebuilt. Six screws were placed inside the bones holding it together and sealed with bone grafts. I’d love to interview his orthopedic surgeon who gave him the green light to return to action. This form of surgery is usually saved for post career as it is designed to return the hand to normal use and strength. Normally it does preclude hitting a heavy bag 500 times a day or hitting human skull with a leather glove. Without a tune-up bout, no one knows if his hand will even hold up in combat.

On January 23rd Amir told promoter Eddie Hearn that he is the “A” side of the promotion and deserves a 70/30 split. Kahn’s twitter quote was indeed: “Eddie, I’m the A side and you and Kell know he will make more money than he did with ‘GGG’.” This false bravado can be easily dismissed as lack of respect, common sense, or business acumen. Kell is the attraction here and I wonder aloud how delusional Kahn really is? He has lost out on monster pay per view paydays against both Manny Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather, JR. because he simply demanded parity instead of using the landmark bouts as opportunities to cement his legacy since he can’t cement his fragile chin.

If Hearn can’t put this fight together in a timely fashion the IBF has a mandate for Kell to meet number one contender Errol Spence, JR. While yours truly would much prefer covering that bout and view it as a highly competitive match it appears that Kahn is once again, not only putting his foot in his mouth but pissing away a viable opportunity to reestablish himself in fans eyes.

Just this week Kahn has confirmed what the media has leaked for months. A sex video of himself preforming a sexual act while talking on Skype to a female model from Arizona. The boxer had to confront the issue as it could no longer be kept under wraps. Kahn has denied divorce rumors and claims immunity from scrutiny since he was not married at the time the event was recorded. I’m not one to wallow in other people’s misery but it’s my job to report all significant boxing news nonetheless. Point being, Kahn needs to get away from all this negativity as well as inactivity. The promotion still holds clout for fans of both men but that won’t last much longer. One more loss on Amir’s record regardless of who puts it there and whatever magic will be lost forever. The top guns in his division are no longer interested in fighting Kahn as Danny Garcia prepares to do battle in March with Keith Thurman and Manny Pacquaio aims to spank novice Jeff Horn in April with hopes of drawing Terrence Crawford into a fall clash of stylistic fury. Errol Spence, JR. will wait out his shot leaving only perhaps Shawn Porter as a dance partner. Juan Manuel Marquez has been debating retirement in what seems forever and Timothy Bradley hasn’t made any decisions since his loss to Pacquiao last April.

The stats at a glance…

Brook stands 5’9” with a 69” reach. The orthodox Brit owns a record of 36-1, 25 KO’s. While he doesn’t own a resume of top caliber names, he has been imposing at 147 beating all he who stepped in the ring with him.

Kahn stands a half inch shorter with a two-inch reach advantage. Another orthodox Brit who owns a ledger of 31-4, 19 KO’s.

Chances of this bout being made are Kahn’s 70/30 against. Based on his colossal ego and failure to secure bouts with either Pacquiao or Mayweather, JR. suggest he holds steadfast to the notion that he deserves more even though he was counted out in his last bout and owns an insignificant title. Fans and media can best hope for Hearn convincing Amir to give up ten percent of the pie and pray Kell is willing to accept it in hopes of securing all the retirement money he’ll ever need at minimum risk. Should the bout get signed, yours truly will give an in-depth analysis as usual. If you would like the capsule version now, Kell Brook knocks Amir Kahn out for complete 10-count. Kell only needs one. Style wise he is better adapted to cut the ring than a pressure fighter like Canelo. Considering how hard Kell hit “GGG” it’s hard to image Kahn being around after four rounds unless he literally fights in reverse gear on a bicycle fit for a Prince. Should he bore the crowd with refusal to ever engage the pocket, it may take more rounds but still produce the same results.

Vinny “Glory Days” Lucci is a Boxing Writer from New York, New York. Born in Bayside, New York, he attended the High School of Art and Design and went on to graduate from the School of Visual Arts College in Manhattan. During his college tenure, he trained in the gritty New York gyms as well as several Karate Dojo’s where he achieved Black Belt status in both Tae Kwan Do and Tang Su Do. While grinding out the daily hustle of being a freelance illustrator, he trained with some of the most prominent N.Y. middleweights during the Hagler era.

After a martial arts tournament injury left his knee badly damaged and incapable of the necessary lateral movement needed to turn pro, Lucci was forced to channel his aspirations elsewhere. He explored a series of jobs where his nonartistic skills could pay his bills. He became a bouncer, private investigator, bodyguard, and debt collector. In the late eighties, he entered the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and honed his street persona into a small time acting career. He currently lives on Long Island, is a freelance writer for Ringsidereport.com and runs a night club. A familiar face on the boxing scene and personal friend of a multitude of boxers, his love of the sport has never waned.

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About the Author

Jim Wyatt, a 1970 graduate of St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, has written weekly sports features for several Military newspapers, WCKMuayThai.com, SportofBoxing.com and Examiner.com as their San Diego Boxing Examiner. He was one of the four "Wise Guys" who predicted winning football selections versus the Vegas spreads. Some of the people he enjoyed meeting: Earvin "Magic" Johnson, WWF Wrestler Lita, LaDainian Tomlinson, Nate Kaeding and Darren Bennett of the Chargers, Tony Gwynn and Jake Peavy of the Padres, soccer stars Shannon MacMillan and Julie Foudy, Mixed Martial Artists Cris Cyborg, Junior Dos Santos, the Nogueira brothers plus the many great people involved in boxing and Muaythai.