Amir Khan is talking a great game, but nobody seems to be buying it.
As I said a few weeks ago, there is plenty of reason for boxing fans to dismiss Amir Khan as Terence Crawford’s challenger on Saturday night. I’ll even just use the same words I did then: Khan’s been in the game for almost 14 years now. We know what he can do. We also know what he can’t do.
Crawford (34-0, 25 KO) will defend his WBO welterweight title against Khan (33-4, 20 KO) on ESPN pay-per-view in the main event of a show from Madison Square Garden, and the odds are heavily in the champion’s favor.
Crawford is listed between -1000 and -2000 by various books, with Khan between +540 and +1100. Frankly, these odds seem fair enough; as talented as Khan is, it’s highly unlikely he’s going to score what would be by far a career-best win at age 32. Even if he were to perform well and make it competitive, his chances of actually winning are very low.
We discussed the pay-per-view undercard more in-depth on Thursday night, and there are good stories here, a couple of rising stars, a guy who used to be a rising star trying to right the ship. But by the numbers, two of the three fights are seen as mismatches.
Lightweight prospect Teofimo Lopez (12-0, 10 KO) is listed between -4500 and -10000 for his fight with former European champion Edis Tatli (31-2, 10 KO), who is between +800 and +3200.
Featherweight Shakur Stevenson (10-0, 6 KO) will face Christopher Diaz (24-1, 16 KO) in a fight that’s seen as a bit more competitive, at least. Stevenson ranges from -900 to -1400, with Diaz anywhere from +550 to +760.
The fight seen as most competitive on paper pits lightweight Felix Verdejo (24-1, 16 KO) against Bryan Vasquez (37-3, 20 KO). This is Verdejo’s first serious fight since his loss to Antonio Lozada Jr in March 2018, and Vasquez can fight.
Verdejo is favored, but the lines are much tighter than the other fights on the PPV broadcast. The Puerto Rican is between -215 and -265, with Vasquez between +130 and +225.