Natural Ability

Kell Brook may hit harder, Carl Froch might be sturdier, but in terms of core ability 'King Khan' is light years above the domestic pack.

The boy from Bolton is a once in a generation talent; blessed with blistering hand speed, balletic footwork and beautiful balance. His gifts are supplemented by an insatiable work ethic and deployment of industry leaders in strength and conditioning.

Amir is capable of delivering every shot in the coaching manual, one or two that aren't, and has a rare capacity to utilise this arsenal and compose magical combinations.

In Virgil Hunter, he now has a tutor who makes the best use of Khan's tools and teaches the techniques and tactics to best protect his delicate chin.

 

Heart

Khan's propensity to plant his feet and wage war mid ring is as much a pitfall as an asset.

Though undoubtedly strong and powerful, he doesn't blow many away with one shot and, given his suspect whiskers, his craving for a tear up has exasperated coaches from Harrison to Hunter.

But you have to marvel at the 17 year old who tore into Mario Kindelan, 32, in the Olympic final. And who can forget him climbing up from the carpet to exact stoppage wins over Willie Limond and Michael Gomez?

Remember how he hauled himself vertical and fought on after Breidis Prescott dumped him with a shot that would've felled a rhino? Or how he fought through fog against Marcos Maidana, when all implored him to take a knee?

It might not be smart but it's difficult not to admire.

khan-maidana

Fearless

Khan has always been a proper fighting man; a prizefighter who'll back his wares against anyone, anywhere, any time. Don't let anyone fool you otherwise.

His decision to pass on a summer clash with IBF king Kell Brook had everything to do with business and nothing to do with 'bottle'.

Consider that, aged 17 and training just three evenings a week at Bury ABC, he was duelling with fully grown men - full time 'amateurs' from the old Eastern Bloc regime - at the 2004 Olympics.

Khan has happily risked health and rep against warlords of the calibre of Maidana, Judah, Peterson, Garcia, Collazo and Alexander on foreign climes. He fears no foe.

 

Excitement

Khan's capacity for delivering a rare cocktail of both skills and thrills make all his fights unmissable events. It is no surprise that he has evolved into a pay-per-view attraction.

Clearly, Amir feels an obligation to entertain both ticket buyers and armchair fans, even if this compromises his chance of departing with his hand raised. When was the last time you saw AK in a dull scrap?

He never shies from fronting elite competition. His 'gung-ho' mentality and maligned jaw - which mean he is always just one clean shot from a stoppage defeat - ensure every fight is 'must see' fare.

 

Charisma

The impact Khan has made on our sport over the past 11 years extends far beyond the ropes.

Hip and handsome he brings the X factor; dressed in the sharpest suits, driving the fastest cars, attending the chicest events. He is a genuine household name that appeals beyond sporting audiences.

Amir is a willing and articulate spokesman on key boxing and external issues and generally comments with intelligence and foresight. With 1.5 million Twitter followers, Joe Public is clearly interested in what he has to say.

His contribution to expanding Asian interest into the sport - both participatory and spectator, both domestically and internationally - over the past decade should never be undersold.

amir-khan

 

Khan fights Algieri tonight (Friday May 29th) from 2am on BoxNation; with the ring walk expected at around 2.45am. Subscribe now!