AMIR KHAN expects his next fight to take place in early December. “No opponent just yet, the date’s December time, first or second week,” Khan said.
He wants the big fights, but with Floyd Mayweather taking the Marcos Maidana rematch in September and Manny Pacquiao boxing in Macao in November, the superstars of the sport will have to wait until next year. Someone like Robert Guerrero is a possible opponent for December.
Khan was speaking at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where he was impressed by what he saw, particularly among the athletes. “The respect is there so that’s a good thing. Especially with boxers, normally that’s never there,” Amir said. “When I was in the Olympics, I was walking and I saw my opponent I was going to be fighting on the Wednesday, this was on a Monday, and he walked past me and shoulder barged me. I was only 17. I thought it was a tactic to put me off or whatever, because I was on my own there, I had no team around me. I wasn’t scared but [thought] these are the tactics. But here you don’t see any of that. I remember seeing the Scottish and English fighters sat together having something to eat.”
Khan won an Olympic silver medal but amateur boxing changed since. Computer scoring is no more, replaced by a 10 points must system, and elite men no longer wear headguards.
“They’re not counter-punchers anymore. Watching the boxers, they’re more aggressive. There’s more punches thrown now, there’s more pressure. It’s not like the old days with the scoring where they used to hit and move and run around the ring and never get caught again,” Khan said.
“With the 10-9 rounds, it’s more of a boxing match. You can’t really run. To win the round you have to throw punches, you have to hit and not get hit and show that you’re aggressive.”
Voicing approval for the change in boxing style, Amir does however think that headprotectors should be used in tournament boxing. “I’d probably say headguards need to come back, especially when you’ve got fighters who are fighting maybe five times in a week,” he said. “The first day you might just get a headclash, you might be the favourite to win the tournament. I think they should come back… I don’t think knockouts happen as much anyway in amateur boxing, especially at the high level because you’re fighting the best of the best.”
AIBA, the world governing body, has no intentions of backtracking. “The decision to remove headguards from men’s competitions was made in 2013 in an effort to reduce rates of concussion. This is the most important thing when considering headguards,” said AIBE vice-president Dr. Abdellah Bessalem. “Ultimately when the boxers get familiar with having the competitions without headguards more often, the cut rate will be completely lowered.”
A cream called Cavilon was being used in Glasgow to try to reduce cuts at the Commonwealth Games.