With American Robert Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KOs) pulling out from his regular WBA light welterweight championship date with hard punching Marcos Maidana (30-2, 27 KOs) of Argentina due to an injured shoulder, almost every boxing fan cringed at the loss of a potential boxing blockbuster. Guerrero and Maidana would have produced more than fireworks in the ring. At least that is what the facts are indicating.
Suddenly left without an opponent, Maidana instinctively turns to his most recent conqueror, unified IBF and WBA “super” light welterweight titlist Amir Khan of the United Kingdom. It is no secret that Khan had one of the toughest fights in his career when he went against the very limited, yet very dangerous Argentine last December 2010. And a second fight between the two is a prospect every lover of the sport would certainly salivate for.
Last year in Las Vegas, the fighter from Bolton, Lancashire would edge Maidana in points after 12 hard-fought rounds. But it was a fight that had Khan rocked and battered, although he managed to put Maidana down to the mat in the first round. Maidana found his rhythm and blasted Khan with his power shots in the later rounds, almost sending Khan down in the 10th round.
The dying seconds of the final round was certainly a treat for boxing fans, who saw Khan and Maidana going for each other’s heads, with Khan throwing care and caution out of the window to engage in a trade.
Almost immediately after issuing his challenge of a rematch, it seems Maidana will have to sit the sidelines for a while as Khan rejected his offer for a second fight. Instead, Khan wants to face the winner of the Erik Morales-Lucas Mathysse WBC light welterweight championship next month.
On paper, a bout with the winner of the Morales-Mathysse showdown presents a more lucrative proposition for the former Olympian. If Khan manages to secure a fight and wins over the Morales-Mathysse winner, he will become the division’s undisputed champion.
But for Maidana, Khan will do everything to avoid him. The Argentine recently stated that Khan wrote to the WBA begging they won’t order a rematch.
But with everything that transpired on their fight, it is almost certain that everyone would like to see both men go at each other again. In a fight described by many scribes as one of the best bouts of 2010, Khan and Maidana both elevated boxing to a higher level that night.
Blame it on boxing economics and self-preservation, it is almost certain Khan-Maidana II won’t be happening, no matter how badly the sport needs such exciting and thrilling matchups.
Photo credits: Las Vegas Sun