James Lawton: Khan echoes Hamed hype

It is true that nowhere on earth can accelerate the ageing process quite so dramatically as the boxing ring. Even so, the decline of the master Cuban Mario Kindelan in Bolton against the hugely hyped Amir Khan was remarkably profound by any standards.

The degree of it indeed made some of the claims being made on behalf of the teenager, who was such a warm and exciting presence in last summer's Olympics in Athens, distinctly disquieting. At Bolton the story had progressed to an alarming degree. We were told Khan is a certainly to be Britain's youngest professional world champion since Naseem Hamed. The occasion was grotesquely inflated, and Kindelan's display gave such projections no serious foundation.

Perhaps most worryingly of all, Khan, a model of boyish charm and modesty in Athens, got so far ahead of himself on Saturday he was announcing his intention to retire by the age of 25. But first, of course, he must have a career in the pros. Though his distaste is on record for the arrogance that Hamed displayed before meeting for the first time a fighter of the highest class and condition, and being thoroughly thrashed, even mocked by Marco Antonio Barrera, Khan had acquired some of his predecessor's trappings when he came into the ring to face a bemused Kindelan.

There was the showy entrance and the rapturous reception. There was the gushing television coverage; above all there was the assumption that Khan's ascension to a world pro crown was simply a matter of brief time.

Some time before Barrera got the chance to bring Naseem Hamed back to earth, the Mexican worked brilliantly in a tough Los Angeles gym and then said, "Naseem thinks he is a star - but what of, a circus?" A circus is what we had in Bolton on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, in Latin America and the Far East, young fighters of great toughness and talent were polishing their gifts in the hardest trade. Let us hope that in a few years' time one of them will not have reason to appraise Amir Khan with the same contempt that Barrera once had for Hamed.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory