Crawford vs. Khan Preview – Tale of the Tape and Prediction

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Undefeated WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford will face veteran  challenger Amir Khan on Saturday, April 20th at Madison Square Garden in New York. The fight will be aired on ESPN PPV in the USA and on BT Sport Box Office (PPV) in the UK. Crawford, World in Sport’s #1 P4P fighter, will be making the second defense of his title.

Tale of the Tape – Crawford vs. Khan

Terence Crawford Amir Khan
Record 34-0-0 (25 KOs) 33-4-0 (20 KOs)
Nickname “Bud” “King Khan”
Age 31 32
Country United States United Kingdom
Stance Southpaw Orthodox
Height 5’8″ 5’8 1/2″
Reach 74″ 71″
Debut 2008 2005

Fight Breakdown – Crawford vs. Khan

In 2013, Terence Crawford fought his first ten-round fight, winning virtually every round against Breidis Prescott on HBO. A year later, he traveled across the Atlantic and beat Scotland’s Ricky Burns to win his first world title, the WBO lightweight strap. Since then, Crawford has become an undisputed champion (winning all four titles at 140 pounds) and both won and defended his WBO welterweight title. In recent years, the Nebraska native has dominated undefeated world champions in Yuriorkis Gamboa, Viktor Postol, Julius Indongo, and Jeff Horn.

Crawford, who is a three-division world champion, is one of the most well-rounded fighters in boxing. With a very long reach, great hand speed, high-level footwork, power in both hands, and the ability to switch stances, he is considered by many (including myself) to be the best boxer in the world. The champion has displayed excellent defensive skills from both orthodox and southpaw and has never been knocked down.

2004 Olympic silver medalist Amir “King” Khan also campaigned as a lightweight early in his career. After starting off 18-0 as a pro, Khan was knocked out in the first round in 2008 by Breidis Prescott, who was also undefeated at the time. Khan would rebound from the loss, eventually defeating Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera in 2009 and moving up to 140. Since then, the the Bolton-born Khan has had some big wins over names like Marcos Maidana and Devon Alexander, as well as some disastrous defeats, most notably the losses to Danny Garcia and Canelo Alvarez.

Khan is (mainly) known for two attributes: his lightning fast hands… and his glass chin. Now, to be fair, do I believe Khan has the worst chin in boxing? No, obviously not. He would not be where he is if he did. But, with that being said, Khan does have a terrible chin when you compare him to other big name and top-tier fighters; he has been knocked out three times and knocked down around ten. He also has a tendency to lose focus and make critical defensive mistakes at times. On the positive end, Khan throws blazingly fast combinations, has solid footwork, and decent power. He can hit you with three, four, five punches at a time if you let your guard down. He also has plenty of experience against high-caliber opposition.

In this fight, it is critical that Amir Khan keeps his hands up at all times. “Bud” Crawford not only has power, he is deadly accurate with both hands. Khan should also do his best to keep his lead foot on the outside of Crawford’s when the latter fights southpaw; this will keep Crawford from having the positioning advantage in exchanges. Finally, Khan has to keep moving laterally when he is not throwing. A slow-paced, long-range jabbing contest in the center of the ring favors Crawford.

Terence Crawford should focus on setting traps for Khan, as all it takes is one well-placed power shot to hurt him. When Khan goes on the offensive, he often lunges in and throws punches in bunches, so Crawford should try to keep things at a distance so he has more time to see Khan’s attacks coming.

Prediction – Crawford vs. Khan

I predict a late-round knockout victory for Terence Crawford. Amir Khan has never faced a fighter with the skillset Crawford possesses. And while the same can probably be said for Terence Crawford, Khan has shown in the past that he has numerous flaws which a fighter on Crawford’s level should be able to expose. Khan may have a few moments early on, but when Crawford settles in he will eventually find Khan’s chin.

This is boxing, if Khan fights a perfect fight and Crawford does not show up on the night, we could see a huge upset. But realistically, we are most likely going to see another knockout win for the champion.

Does Khan have more than a puncher’s chance? Is there any chance he outboxes Crawford? Will the fight go the distance? Comment below with your opinion.

 

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Justin Graham
Sports fan from the USA. Check out my boxing articles on World in Sport.
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