Amir Khan: Does Brit really have a glass jaw?Written by Lee Cleveland
Some fighters, for whatever reason, are wrongly classified by the masses without due process.
(Image courtesy of HBO)
Floyd Mayweather doesn't stick his chin on a platter and trade blow for blow so some equate his style to running.
(Main pic courtesy of HBO)
But Mayweather isn't a runner at all.
He is a effective pocket fighter who, at spirts, can be an aggressor who locks opponents into retreat mode.
But this article isn't about Floyd; it's about boxer Amir Khan and his supposed weak chin.
Has the Brit been given an unfair label?
Amir Khan has been knocked out twice in 33 fights; once in every 16.5 bouts.
Fact: Kostya Tszyu was KO'd twice in 31 bouts but no one considers him weak. In fact, he is revered as a warrior and legend.
Was Arturo Gatti chinny?
Fact: Arturo Gatti was knocked out five times in 49 fights; once in every 9.8 bouts. Interestingly, his bravado was never questioned and Gatti is viewed as one of the most gritty boxers in the history of the sport.
Fact: Mike Tyson was stopped five times in 58 fights; once every 11.6 bouts. While Mike isn't considered as durable as Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield or George Foreman, no one would dare classify him as chinny.
Fact: Ricky Hatton was stopped three times in 45 fights; once every 15 bouts. Has his ability to absorb punshment ever been in question?
The boxers above are praised for their skills and resilience yet Khan is perceived as weak; a comparison by the numbers tells a different tale.
Morever, each boxer was KO'd at least once in his 20s.
Khan vs Prescott
Khan suffered his first loss in 2009 via a first round knockout to Breidis Prescott who entered that bout 19-0 with 17 knockouts. The Colombian, at lightweight, was a knockout terror.
"We knew he (Prescott) was a dangerous puncher," said promoter Frank Warren after the bout.
After being initially flattened by a murderous shot that landed flush, Khan arose and bravely attempted to engage his foe. Instead of holding on for dear life, the courageous Khan tried to mount and offensive and subsequently got tagged flush again, was floored and unable to continue.
When an explosive KO artist, like Prescott at the time, lands multiple powershots flush and within a matter of seconds, he'll almost always knockout his opponent.
Khan vs Garcia
The Brit suffered his second loss, also via the knockout route, to Danny Garcia.
The shot that lead to the KO was thrown with the weight of Garcia's entire behind it and caught Khan flush on the side of neck just below the ear.
Hard punches that land cleanly on the upper side of the neck under the ear don't always produce a knockout but can shock the brain and cause the recipient to stagger and wobble badly - and Amir Khan did just that.
Amir Khan was now forced to stand toe-to-toe and slug it out with Garcia. Receiving more than he was giving, the shaky British boxer would survive the round.
Having not recovered from the effects of the left hook in the previous round, Khan was on 'queer street' for the entirety of Round 4 but stood toe-to-toe with Garcia like a wounded tiger, refusing to submit.
Many forget the fireworks Khan supplied after being badly hurt.
Garcia would go on to score two more knockdowns, prompting the referee to stop the bout with Khan on his feet protesting the stoppage.
When Garcia uncorked a lethal left that floored Erik Morales later that year, the tough-as-nails Mexican, unlike Khan, stayed down.
Known for his grit and ability to absorb punishment, Morales, as well as tough guy Lucas Matthysse who was floored by Garcia in September, would probably attest the Philadelphian packs a wallop.
Defensive lapses or durability issues?
While Khan may have (or had) some holes defensively, let's be fair. The boxer some have dubbed Amir 'Chin' Khan' has weathered a few storms and attempted to fight back harder each time he's been hurt.
Anyone who fights twelve hard rounds of give-and-take with the monstrous-punching Marcos Maidana and survives heavy shots, stays on his feet and even notches the win, must possess some degree of heart and durability.
Khan has eaten some flush shots from heavy punchers that would have probably knocked out just about anyone in those respective divisions.
Is the weak chin label fair?
His ability to continue fighting after absorbing wicked shots worthy of highlight reels may be a sign he's quite durable.
Any future opponent who believes Khan will completely crumble and be counted out the first time he's hurt might be in for a rude awakening.