BY YZ Patel
Headlining the bill in Vegas. That is the main attraction. The one everyone pays to come and see, what the event gets sold on, the focus of attention. That is the pinnacle for most boxers. To have their name up in lights on the strip at no other than the MGM grand. Ask the Cobra to non boxing aficionados that is Nottingham’s finest Carl Froch, despite his undoubted success, a World Champion with umpteen defences. A man that sold out Wembley no less is yet to break across the pond and why until that happens he personally feels his boxing legacy is incomplete.
Prior to his fight with Devon Alexander a two weight world champion, the underhand racist invective directed at Amir Khan in this country from the natives gave him no chance. He would be schooled, he is over rated and he has a glass jaw. He is a box ticker and a media darling because of who he is and not because of his achievements. He is a braggart with his £20k gold threaded shorts, incidentally which are being auctioned off for charity. He has been beaten three times already, he is no great. A tenuous reason to overlook anything he has done considering most of the boxing greats have all been defeated. Indeed the greatest of all time Muhammad Ali defeated more than thrice.
Unlike Ricky ‘man of the people’ Hatton, who was outclassed by Mayweather and Pacquiao. Two boxing greats but the affection the public have with him has never withered yet with Amir he has never had and will never have that.
They label the reason for this being his past misdemeanours, that he ran over someone in Bolton. That he unlike no other celebrity is a rat as he was allegedly exposed by the arbiters, the guardians of high moral standards , the tabloids as such. That he was involved in some sort of skirmish earlier this year that no charges were brought but still according to the indigenous he was still guilty. Unlike everybody else who have their foibles he should have none. Because of all these reasons they don’t hold him in as higher regard as Frank Bruno a perennial failure or Hatton the multi millionaire, beer swilling pie eating man of the people.
To most all these reasons are just a smokescreen. To hide their envy their obvious jealousy, their disgust that in the toughest sport of all we have our very own that is at the top of the tree.
Pure talent and skill, true box office a superstar. They pay because he leaves nothing out gives everything, he doesn’t know when he is beaten. He takes on all comers doesn’t duck doesn’t avoid. Boxing politics and excuses he is not a utiliser of. He will fight anybody anywhere unlike others they laud.
He fights under the banner of this country. He promotes the values of this country what the authorities want the world to see yet even now he is not getting the credit that he deserves even after yesterday nights’ masterclass. The detractors are still out in force refusing to acknowledge. He is never any good the opponent was found wanting they espouse. Everybody he beats are washed up has beens they furiously type on their keyboards.
They say why doesn’t he fight under Pakistan? Why? because he was born and bred in Bolton, because the money he has made from his talent he has invested not in Pakistan but in Bolton regenerating his hometown with a boxing gym and a further development in the town. What has Wayne Rooney done for Croxteth? He couldn’t wait to move out of there. Steven Gerrard save for the occasional visit to the Huyton comprehensive?
Amir is still in Bolton, still accessible still a role model for all sports people and he is proving this everyday rising above and engaging in a myriad of initiatives within the community. He has unlike all these footballers they put on the pedestal never forgotten his roots, where he has come from and is the first to give back not only financially but more importantly his time.
So when these misanthropes come out we all need to come out as one and defend our own. Because he is that and he proves that everytime he is up there. The big fights will be made in the coming year and much to their chagrin he will be the protagonist and we hope the victor. It is all coming together for our man and unravelling for them.