Gradually I have found myself warming more towards Khan after initially not having any interest in him. I know all boxers are a bit gobby, they need to be confident otherwise they shouldn’t get in the ring, but I found Khan to be worse than most.
Khan fought Michael Gomez at Birmingham’s NIA in 2008. An old school mate was on the undercard and a few of us went over to watch him. Such was my dislike of Khan, I left before his fight and crossed the road to the bars of Broad Street preferring to go for a couple of pints rather than watch him fight in another non event.
I thought he talked himself up too much when he was younger, I always got the impression he wasn’t as good as he thought he was and I am happy to admit disliking him over this. Yes, he won an Olympic Silver, a good achievement, but lets not forget our old friend Audley won a Gold.
Khan used to talk the talk but he was only really beating Frank Warren’s hand picked journeymen victims, all throughout this he kept telling the world how great he already was, when he wasn’t, he had fought no one of any real note.
Since his defeat to Breidis Prescott later in 2008, I have to admit I have been really impressed with Khan. He fought the hand picked Oisin Fagan to get himself back to winning ways and since then has stepped up in class and fought and beat some top quality opponents.
All this hard work culminated in Vegas on Saturday, where Khan proved himself a real fighter, an entertainer and to have a massive heart. At times in that fight Khan went places I didn’t think he was capable and showed that he dosen’t have the so called ‘glass chin’.
He did the lot, we all know he can box and move and we all know he can entertain, but I didn’t expect to see him stand and exchange with Maidana in the way he did. Khan took some punishment and hung in there and still came back at his opponent.
Any doubts over Khan’s credentials as a world class performer were banished on Saturday, I now believe him to be the real thing and a true champion.