When WBA/IBF super middleweight title holder Carl Froch dummied George Groves with a left hook only to follow the feint up with a right hand knockout, it concluded what would go on to become the biggest night of British boxing in 2014.
Few events warrant being staged in football stadiums, yet this one was at Wembley – the nation’s flagship, the home of the England team – and while Eddie Hearn plays down the likelihood of imminently returning to West London for another show that can attract 80,000 at the gate, the thought alone must tantalize him.
After all, he has athletes in his stable who could command such an evening. The head of boxing at Matchroom Sports “loves” the idea of matching his IBF welterweight titlist Kell Brook with Juan Manuel Marquez, yet while that could easily sell out Bramall Lane – the home of Brook’s beloved Sheffield United – it would unlikely be ‘big’ enough for Wembley Stadium.
BFG heavyweight Anthony Joshua is surely earmarked for stadium fights in the future, but despite the fighter’s hype he is still being moved along gradually, with a date against journeyman Michael Sprott scheduled to take place this weekend, at the Echo Arena on the undercard of the pay-per-view rematch between cruiserweight duo Nathan Cleverly and home-town favourite Tony Bellew.
There is another Briton – Amir Khan – who could fill out Wembley in 2015. And the welterweight campaigner could do so without Brook, without Joshua on the undercard and without Hearn… but how?
Khan must first come through a December examination against Devon Alexander unscathed. The pair clash at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and should Khan triumph, then he would push himself further into the Floyd Mayweather conversation.
The undefeated American, who has twice dealt with Marcos Maidana this year, would not leave Las Vegas and may prefer other contenders than Khan – but there is another who has welcomed a fight with the combination-puncher from Bolton… and he has enough A-side credentials to sell out Wembley by himself.
“A fight with Amir would be an exciting fight,” said Manny Pacquiao to the Daily Telegraph. “I can fight him anywhere, even in England.”
Pacquiao is currently in China where he is engaging the media in fight-week press opportunities, ahead of a Saturday showdown with New York boxer Chris Algieri.
Algieri has good height for a 147-pounder as well as an awkward style, but Freddie Roach expects his prize pupil to breeze through the challenge in order to retain his WBO title in front of a partisan crowd at the Cotai Arena in the Venetian Resort, Macao.
A match-up between Pacquiao and Khan, of course, has back-story as the two were involved in numerous sparring sessions and also trained together when the latter based himself out of Roach’s Wildcard Boxing Club in Los Angeles.
Do you think Amir Khan can take us back to Wembley Stadium in 2015? Can Khan claim a Froch-like fairy-tale moment under the iconic arch or would Pacquiao end up Grovesing the 29-3-0, 19ko fighter? Let us know in the comment section below…
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