Amir Khan’s (25-1, 17Kos) a good boxer. There’s no argument about that. But it’s debatable if he’s a great one. Many people still have visions of him lying on the canvas after just 54 seconds when Breidis Prescott knocked the 24-year-old Englishman out back in 2008.
Granted, Khan’s unbeaten in seven fights since then and added the WBA Jr. Welterweight Title to his resume in with a unanimous decision over Andriy Kotelnik. He’s also beaten some good fighters in Marco Antonio Barrera, Dmitriy Salita, Paulie Malignaggi, and Marcos Maidana.
He’s now being trained by the one and only Freddie Roach and spends a lot of his time training with Manny Pacquiao. But for some reason he took a step backwards on April 16th when he took on the little-known Paul McCloskey back in Manchester, England. McCloskey isn’t a name fighter in America and he’s not even a name fighter in his native Northern Ireland.
But he somehow got a match with Khan and the two of them sold out the MEN Arena where Khan beat him by a technical decision after the fight was stopped in the sixth round sue to an accidental head butt. The doctor checked McCloskey’s eye out and called the bout off. Not surprisingly, Khan was ahead 60-54 on all three scorecards.
For another strange reason, the fight was scheduled to be shown on pay TV by the Sky network in Britain while HBO showed a delayed broadcast of it in America. Nobody’s sure why it was on pay TV in the first place as McCloskey’s not known anywhere other than his own household. But after it was revealed sales were basically non-existent, Sky came to its senses and took the bout off of pay TV and placed it on one of its regular channels.
Khan didn’t like this though and said if HBO was interested in showing the fight to Americans then his British fans should have to ante up and pay to see him. It was reported that he’d make about 1.5 million British pounds for the scrap on pay TV, but Sky then told him he’d have to accept a pay cut to about 150,000 pounds.
The network claimed the move to regular TV would be beneficial to him since he’d be able to attract a huge audience in the hundreds of thousands. However, Khan’s ego wouldn’t accept this and he ended up signing a deal with a little-known pay TV network called Primetime where the fight supposedly sold less than 10,000 views. It was also reported that McCloskey ended up earning more than Khan, something the champion vehemently denied.
It’s a fact that Khan took a huge hit in the wallet though and his ego even cost him more by refusing to fight on regular TV. He now says he’s going to do most of his fighting in America because that’s where the money is and probably won’t fight in his homeland again for quite some time, if ever.
Khan said British TV should have supported him more and again pointed to the fact that HBO showed the fight. But he’s still missing the point as the McCloskey fight should never have been a pay per view event in the first place and many people feel the fight should never have even taken place as McCloskey wasn’t a worthy opponent.
The last time Sky showed a pay per view fight, which was between heavyweight champ David Haye and Audley Harrison, the public witnessed one of the worst fights in history as Harrison threw a total of about three punches. It was so bad the British Boxing Commission investigated the bout before releasing Harrison’s purse. There’s no way fans wanted to be fleeced again by paying to watch McCloskey fight in another perceived mismatch.
Khan should take on somebody worthy in his next fight though as he’ll likely meet WBO Jr. Welterweight Champion Timothy Bradley in a unification bout. After the argument with Sky TV though, it’s not clear if they’ll kiss and make up and show the boxing match in Britain.