WHEN asked whether Amir Khan would be deserving of facing Floyd Mayweather if he beats Devon Alexander this weekend, IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook’s trainer Dominic Ingle gave an unequivocal answer: ‘‘No.’’
His uncomplicated, monosyllabic answer alluded to the notion that a justification should not be necessary. Nonetheless, with a slight nudge in that direction, Ingle explained why Khan is unbefitting of challenging the man at the top of the 147lb division.
‘‘Khan would still not be deserving of the Mayweather fight because of the way he has lost in the past’’, Ingle claimed, referring to Khan’s knockout defeats at the hands of Danny Garcia and Breidis Prescott and, in part, his split-decision loss to Lamont Peterson. The Sheffield-based trainer does not believe that Khan has sufficiently been able to rebuild his credibility from past losses, nor does he deem that Khan has successfully proved his credibility in his only welterweight fight by defeating Luis Collazo in May, citing the fact that ‘‘Collazo was faded and not a patch on the fighter that fought Ricky Hatton’’ in 2006.
So what of Devon Alexander? Does victory over the former two-weight world champion, 26-2 (14), not heighten Khan’s credentials as a top-class fully-fledged welterweight? Not according to Ingle. ‘‘Alexander has had two losses now and is not [the fighter that] he was, but we’ll see what fight is left in him this weekend. Kell Brook beat Shawn Porter and Shawn Porter beat Devon Alexander, so in that sense he’s a third-rate fighter,’’ he stated. Khan must achieve a lot more at the weight for Ingle to consider him on a similar level to someone ‘‘like Manny Pacquiao’’ whom Ingle considers ‘‘a real fighter with credibility’’ deserving of a shot at Floyd Mayweather. The well-respected corner-man believes that there are far greater challenges than Alexander that Khan could have undertaken at welterweight to announce himself as one of the elite fighters in the division.
Despite Khan rebounding from a shattering defeat to Garcia with three consecutive wins against Carlos Molina, Julio Diaz and Collazo, Ingle feels that the Bolton-born Khan has ‘‘lost his shine’’ and needs ‘‘higher profile fights’’ than Alexander at this point in his career.
“Khan needs to a win a world title at 10.5 stone, or at least face a big-name undefeated fighter like a Keith Thurman,” Ingle reasoned.
A win against Alexander on December 13, whilst it would do little to impress Ingle, would almost certainly open doors to some of the biggest fights in the division for Khan, with his promoter and Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De La Hoya recently making noise about Amir challenging Mayweather, Pacquiao or Brook in 2015. Ingle will likely be keeping a close eye on this weekend’s events with a number of welterweight stars in action, including Khan, Alexander, the unbeaten Thurman and Timothy Bradley, but insists that his sole interest in this point in time is ‘‘getting Kell’s training camp over Christmas perfect’’.
Brook is, according to his trainer, ‘‘doing great’’ as he continues his rehabilitation from the horrific machete attack he sustained in September whilst on holiday in Tenerife.