Burgeoning light-welterweight talent Amir Khan next faces little known Frenchman Rachid Drilzane on the Harrison v Cook under card in just over a week’s time. The tenth fight in his professional career and burdened with an intense spotlight following his success at the Olympics Khan is being moved studiously by promoter Frank Warren.
With protestations of challenging for titles in 2007, competitive action cannot be far away for the likable ticket-seller from Bolton, already the first murmurs of discontent are being heard in the guerrilla world of Internet forums. It would be easy to point to the more rapid progress of predecessors like Naseem Hamed – with whom comparisons are often drawn too easily – who won the European title in his 12th contest, beating a seasoned campaigner into the bargain.
Such a comparison doesn’t reflect well on the soon to be 20 year old, but the truth is, for every Hamed it’s possible to conjure a David Reid or Michael Bennett – both fighters over-matched early and ultimately both had unfulfilled careers.
Frank Warren is arguably the finest promoter of talents like Khan, experience developing and protecting Calzaghe and Hatton will be poured into Khan and whilst his talent is more precocious than those two champions – caution will prolong his career and hopefully ensure he’s well prepared when the worthwhile challenges arrive.
Whether the simultaneous sense of under-achievement becomes attached to his career in the way it has to stablemate Joe Calzaghe’s, only time will tell.