Welcome back to the boxing previews on Newsmule. Here lies a very personal view of how the light-welterweight clash between Amir Khan vs Paulie Malignaggi could play out.
Basically, as much as I’ve been a critic of Khan in the past, he simply has to win this fight.
Malignaggi is one of the strangest fighters in the game at the moment – the man couldn’t knock-out an 80 year old woman with Rohypnol. His knock-out record is abysmal – 5 KO wins in 30 fights.
Now, that is not to say that knock-outs are everything – Floyd Mayweather has proved otherwise – but the Brooklyn fighter’s record is embarrassing.
Under Freddie Roach, Khan has developed his talent and the Bredis Prescott defeat seems a million miles away for a man with his eyes on the sport’s biggest prizes.
Under the pressure of a home crowd, Malignaggi has talked a good fight but he looked very poor against Ricky Hatton two years ago and his lack of power will surely be exposed against the quick and accurate Bolton fighter.
Despite his one defeat, Khan has produced some very good fights since and has established himself on the world level – something Malignaggi has never and will never do.
I suspect Amir’s speed will be too much for the feather-hitting Italian-American with the big gob and – after taking time to adjust his style – the fight will probably end in the 7th with a Khan KO victory.
More interestingly, Londoner Kevin Mitchell – a potential Khan opponent – takes on teak-tough Aussie Michael Katsidis for the WBO Interim lightweight title, which is likely to turn into a match for the full title.
Mitchell has a perfect record of 31 victories from 31 fights, with 23 wins by KO, while his opponent has lost twice in 28 fights.
However, Mitchell has yet to be tested against the best in the division, despite his impressive victory over Khan’s conqueror Prescott in December. All the signs point to Mitchell being on the cusp of something great, but his opponent should not be underestimated.
Katsidis’ only defeats have come against some of the division’s finest and he has a reputation as a fighter who will battle to the absolute end.
He lost a brutal contest to Joel Casamayor and a controversial bout to Juan Diaz, and has been in the ring with the very best.
Looking at Mitchell’s chances, he is undoubtedly in for a tough night against a fighter who relishes a war. However, Katsidis has often struggled with bruising and cuts and the two defeats he has suffered suggest he is not at his best against a counter-puncher.
If Mitchell can maintain a healthy distance from his opponent and use his undoubted boxing skills, it could be a prosperous night for the man from Dagenham.
I suggest a Mitchell victory on the judges scorecards, but don’t be surprised if this one gets stopped on cuts.
Of the two British prospects in action this weekend, a Mitchell victory will mean a lot more than a Khan win. It certainly won’t attract the same kind of headlines, but it will be a far more valuable and widely respected win against a really tough opponent.