Amir Khan snubs Conor Benn fight…but should he?!
When Conor “The Destroyer” Benn (18-0, 12 KO’s) last stepped into the ring on April 10, he was expected to have a tough fight. His opponent was the hardnosed and heavily experienced Samuel Vargas. While Vargas had never reached the mountain top himself, he had most certainly given elite fighters a difficult night in the office. This was not the case with Benn. The Destroyer melted through the Columbian like he was a hunk of Jell-O tossed in a vat of acid. The one-round obliteration near immediately went viral.
In the direct aftermath of the back-alley beating, Benn called for a fight with UK boxer Amir “King” Khan (34-5, 21 KO’s). The Destroyer understands that he is still building his career and is in need of great developmental fights. Not only did Benn feel that Khan would make a great opponent due to his skill, he has a great recognizable name in the sport. Assuming he got the Khan bout, and won, that would be a tremendous feather in his cap. Unfortunately, it does not look like Khan is willing to play ball.
Since hearing about the call-out, Khan has taken to his social media to say that he was uninterested. To his credit, King Khan did not smear Benn’s name in any manner. Instead he gave him praise and simply said that the Destroyer had more to do secure a fight with him. Yet it has to be asked, at this point in Khan’s career, is that really still the case?
TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE
No one is denying that Benn is still making his name in the sport. Hell, the top reason that we are talking about him at all is because of his legendary father Nigel “Dark Destroyer” Benn. Putting family ties to the side for a second, Conor Benn has put in work and fought almost twenty professional bouts. During that time he has earned the #11 (WBA) and #14 (IBF) welterweight world rankings. So he has been busy during his five-year career.
When looking at the present day Amir Khan however, it is him who does not bring much to the table outside of a name. To begin, King Khan has not even had a professional fight in two years. His last fight, on July 12, 2019, was staged against the wildly irrelevant Billy Dib. Prior to Dib one would have to go back to 2015 before Khan has a win over a named opponent. Even then, that name was Chris Algieri. No disrespect to Algieri but when was he ever a major force in the division?
Outside of Algieri, Devon Alexander and Luis Collazo are Khan’s top wins at welterweight. Again, no disrespect to those guys but when in the last eight years have any of those fighters been accused of running the division, or being on the verge of doing so?
In against WBO World Welterweight champion Terence Crawford, King Khan was taken apart and arguably quit. When he unwisely jumped up to middleweight to fight Canelo, he was nearly man-slaughtered. After starting off well, the red-head knocked him out so viciously that he knelt next to his lifeless body and prayed in the ring. So it’s somewhat curious that Khan wants Benn to jump through more hurdles.
Khan is a tremendous talent and always has been. He has blisteringly fast hands, great experience and the heart of lion. No one can deny that. Even when he is almost murdered in the ring, he does well before the near homicides. However, at the end of the day, boxing is a “what have you done lately” type of sport. Sadly for him, Khan’s current list of accolades is skinnier than a thin mint Girl Scout cookie. Khan already stalled his own career out waiting on super fights with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao that never took place. Khan and Kell Brook could have had a meaningful domestic super fight but their bitter bickering and petty squabbling insured that never happened either.
Quite frankly, Khan’s name does not even come up at all when discussing the current welterweight scene. If anything, he could use Benn’s legendary last name and recent viral knockout win to brush the cobwebs off his own career. Not to mention, like the unrealized Brook battle, Khan versus Benn would make huge noise in the UK. Prior to Benn calling him out, what active fighter, promoter, manager, broadcast analyst or print media journalist have you heard mention Khan in a relevant way in the last 12 months? Benn was actually doing him a favor. Too bad he returned the gift.
By: Bakari Simpson