Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer has come to the defense of former titleholder Amir Khan in the wake of this past Saturday night’s HBO-televised fourth-round knockout loss to Danny Garcia, who added Khan’s WBA junior welterweight belt as well as the division’s RING championship to the WBC crown he already owned.
Schaefer has taken issue with the notion from IBF super middleweight beltholder Carl Froch, the English countryman of Khan (26-3, 18 knockouts), that Khan should retire in the wake of his second consecutive loss.
Schaefer took aim at the relative marketability of Froch, whose recent fifth-round stoppage dethroned previously unbeaten southpaw Lucian Bute and earned Froch a crown for the third time in May.
Schaefer also disagrees with the notion that Garcia (24-0, 15 KOs), yet again, exposed Khan’s perceived fragile chin in a clash that took place at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas.
The Garcia-Khan pairing was made after Khan’s intended opponent, Lamont Peterson, tested positive for a banned substance. Peterson dethroned Khan as IBF and WBA beltholder via split-decision in December, but his positive test forced the cancelation of their rematch that was slated for May 19.
The WBA stripped Peterson of that organization’s belt and re-instated Khan as titleholder on July 11.
Khan’s loss to Peterson ended an eight-bout winning streak that had included four knockouts, his previous setback being by 54-second stoppage against Breidis Prescott as a lightweight in June of 2008.
Below are Schaefer’s comments relating to Froch and Khan’s chin.
On Froch’s assertion that Khan should retire:
“Carl Froch suggesting that Amir retire is ridiculous. Carl Froch will never be able to capture the American audience the way Amir Khan is. His name barely registers among fight fans let alone sports fans. Amir Khan’s exciting style is what has earned him the respect of the U.S. fight fans.
“Amir Khan got caught with a punch. But one punch does not change a man. I can assure all fight fans that Amir will be champion again. What we saw from Amir in three rounds is his tremendous offense.
“Now he needs to go back to the drawing board and focus more on defense. If he does that, he will be a complete fighter, and nobody will be able to beat him — and I do mean nobody!”
On the marketability of Froch versus that of Khan:
“Carl Froch on the other hand should focus on his own business. No TV network here in the United States is jumping up and down and asking when can we have Carl Froch back.
“I have already received calls from HBO and Showtime both asking when will Amir be back. I am 100 percent behind Amir. In good times, everybody is your friend. But it is in difficult times when you see who your real friends are.
“I know that Amir will be fighting on a major TV network from a major venue in the United States if he wants to. Amir was a star, is a star and always will be a star.”
On the notion that Khan has a weak chin:
“All of the people who are questioning Amir’s chin or calling it a ‘glass chin’ are idiots. Amir took the best shots from Marcos Maidana, who is unquestionably one of the hardest punchers in the sport, and it did not affect him.
“It does not matter who you are, but if you get hit on the neck, right behind your ear, even Superman — or in this case King Khan — goes down.
“All of these so-called ‘boxing experts’ who are now all over Amir criticizing him should frankly get lost. Who in the hell needs them.
“Most importantly, Amir is a terrific young man who is a pleasure to be with, and I am proud to call him my friend.
“This kind of s–t motivates me, and believe me, Amir and I and his entire team will, in the end, be the ones who will have the last laugh.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org