Now far be it from me to tell the WBO how to run their business, nor am I willing to suggest something underhand has occurred to facilitate Amir Khan’s new found status as a world-ranked Lightweight, but Amir Khan – #14, really? A staggering step by the WBO, with whom Khan’s promoter – Frank Warren – has always had a close relationship, considering the Bolton fighter has yet to face an opponent of even moderate renown.
True fighters get ranked on a whim these days and the WBO has been known to promote fighters who are deceased, and that isn’t a joke either, but Khan is surely no more the #14 Lightweight in the world than I’m going to open the batting for Yorkshire this summer.
What purpose pushing for a ranking at this embryonic stage of Khan’s development is hard to fathom too, after all Warren has manouvered Michael Jennings and Gavin Rees into similar WBO rankings, eventually, to #1 but never followed through with a challenge to the champion. Presumably, because both would have been decimated by the then champions.
Prior to Michael Katsidas’ victory over Graham Earl, and on the assumption Earl would secure the Interim WBO Lightweight crown, Khan has spoken of his lust for a showdown with this British rival before the year end. Now, with the Australian as champion Frank Warren is throwing the metaphorical cold water over Khan’s desire to test himself at a higher level sooner rather than later.
None of this should be misconstrued as a slur on Khan’s potential as a fighter, but surely we shouldn’t be ranking fighters on potential? Achievement, performance – tangible factors are the only criteria for ranking, otherwise we really are putting a wet finger in the air.
I shouldn’t be surprised by these rankings any more, I’m wise enough to know they’re merely at the whim and behest of the promoters and where they’re not, the bodies work to secure themselves the most frequent and largest sanctioning fees. Hence the debut of international, interim, super and regional ‘world’ belts that have all the substance and meaning of George Bush’s intelligence dossier on weapons of mass destruction.
Note: No animals were harmed in the making of this post.