Amir Khan continues on the comeback trail this weekend when he faces Colombian underdog Samuel Vargas in Birmingham on Saturday.
Vargas isn’t a noted puncher, so any comparisons to the last time Khan squared off against fellow countryman Breidis Prescott in 2008 are unlikely to bear fruit. Khan blasted out no-hoper Phil Lo Greco in less than a minute earlier this year, and will be aiming for a similarly spectacular victory as he hopes to seal a mega fight within the next few months.
While Khan is a strong favourite to prevail once more, here are 3 things we’d like to see from him this time out:
Blasting away overmatched opponents is all well and good in terms of putting on a show and attracting attention, but Khan’s best performances have always come when he’s mixed his explosive speed with patience and a sense of tactical awareness. Vargas is unlikely to prove a major threat, so we’d like to see Amir take his time here.
If he can control the opening rounds and pick his man off with clever combinations, he should be able to wear him down by the mid rounds and can then apply a fan-friendly finish to top it off.
2) Controlled attacks, solid defence
This ties into point number one, but it’s important that he keeps a tight guard and stays composed in order to avoid getting hit. Attack is often Khan’s worst form of defence and he needs to quickly learn to control this flaw, otherwise he’ll suffer the same defeats he’s had before when he eventually steps back up to a higher level.
Khan may be toward the tail end of his career, but there’s still no excuse not look to make improvements. Vargas offers him another chance to work on this, and hopefully we won’t seem him swinging wildly as he sometimes has a tendency to do.
3) A clear plan going forward
It feels like Khan and his team have been calling for major fights forever now. A strange matchup against Saul Alvarez 2 years ago inevitably led to a bad knockout loss but Khan’s still on the fringes of huge potential fights against the likes of Manny Pacquiao and domestic rival Kell Brook. If he can make a statement Saturday night and look really good, hype levels will grow once more and maybe we can see him in a big event late this year, or early next.
This will be more up to his management and promotional team than himself in reality, but we’d still like to see that there’s a clear plan for his short-term future. Hopefully he won’t be involved in too many more near-pointless looking matchups next time out.