Two's A Crowd: Peter Nelson, Keiran Mulvaney and Fight Week

Just after Friday’s weigh-in, Inside Fight Week analysts Kieran Mulvaney and Peter Owen Nelson exchanged thoughts on the upcoming showdown between WBA super lightweight champion Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana.

Peter Owen Nelson: 

Kieran, yesterday, Maidana’s trainer Miguel Diaz insisted on having the Nevada Commission weigh the fight gloves, which are supposed to weigh 8 ounces. The result was that the executive director of the commission Keith Kizer ruled that Khan’s Reebok gloves could not be used. Surprisingly not because the gloves weighed too little, but because the custom-made Reeboks were 9.5 ounces nearly the size used only above welterweight. In other words, they were pillows. 

 

Kieran Mulvaney: 

So what will Amir wear?

 

PON: 

Freddie Roach had Golden Boy bring three sets of gloves to Khan’s room: Everlast MX (which Maidana is wearing), regular Everlast, and Reyes horsehair. Roach wrapped Khan’s hands at 7 p.m and after the auditions, the regular Everlasts won Khan’s approval.

 

KM: 

Given Roach’s reputation for gamesmanship, maybe Diaz was trying to get in Khan’s camp’s head. But now, it’s just going to make Amir’s punches that much more powerful. That may be the kind of gamesmanship that blows up in your face. 

So we just had the weigh-in (Khan was 140 and Maidana 139), and it wasn’t the the most packed we’ve ever seen, but a large contingent called Khan’s Army made up for the lack of a crowd with their boisterous chanting. What do you know about them?

 

PON:

As far as I know, these are Khan’s close childhood friends from Bolton, England. And they fly all over the world with Pakistani and British flags to Khan’s fights (including the last against Malignaggi). Khan seems to enjoy their presence and whatever buoys the champ I’m sure is encouraged by his team.

 

KM:

Khan does seem to enjoy the spotlight, but is by no means desperate for the attention. He looks to be at ease with himself.

 

PON:

Let’s hope he is also at ease with Maidana’s looping right to the head.

 

KM:

Yes, out of all the players of Saturday’s card, Maidana seems a bit more tightly wound and less affable.

 

PON:

He has a tattoo of guns on his waist, so yeah, I’d agree he’s less affable than most people, but perhaps his quiet demeanor is just attributable to the language barrier.

 

KM:

That could certainly be. Taking a step back, we have two 140-lb fights on Saturday and another between titlists Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley next month. Do you feel that this weekend is finally going to kick off that series of great fights in this division that we’ve all been looking forward to?

 

PON:

Let’s hope this trend continues. I believe if this crop of talent fights each other extensively enough a superstar will emerge. In both Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather’s cases, their fame was largely built on the back of Oscar De La Hoya’s defeat, but these fighters have a unique once-in-a-generation potential to create stars out of each other.

 

KM:

I may end up looking stupid on Sunday morning, but I think that the one most likely to stand tall at the end of the competition between these fighters is Khan. But don’t sleep on Victor Ortiz, either. 

 

PON:

So you’re picking Khan on Saturday?

 

KM:

Yes, I think Khan’s going to outbox him, break him down, and stop him late on Saturday night. I also pick Ortiz to win a decision. 

 

PON:

We all know Maidana has knockout power at any given moment. However, I pick Khan as well. I think he’s got a master tactician behind him in Freddie Roach. Maidana is raw ore. And even if Maidana is the one to break Khan down, I believe Khan now has both the experience and skill to outbox Maidana for the decision. I, too, pick Ortiz, but believe he can knock Peterson out.