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How British fighters have fared against the best over the past year

Amir Khan will look to upset Terence Crawford at Madison Square Garden this weekend.

Terence Crawford, left, and Amir Khan go head to head in New York this weekend (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Terence Crawford, left, and Amir Khan go head to head in New York this weekend (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Amir Khan will become the latest Briton to attempt to overcome one of those considered among the finest fighters on the planet when he faces Terence Crawford at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at this weekend’s fight, and revisits how Khan’s compatriots have compared against the world’s very best over the past 12 months.

Amir Khan v Terence Crawford, April 2019

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Terence Crawford (left) takes on Amir Khan in New York this weekend (Isabel Infantes/PA)

WBO welterweight champion Crawford is widely considered the second finest boxer on the planet, and to the extent that a sought-after fight with fellow American and 147lb champion Errol Spence is perhaps considered the most enticing that can be made in any division.  Crawford is a both polished and explosive fighter blessed with an extraordinary ring IQ, and in 2017 became only the third male fighter to unify all four of a division’s world titles when he reigned at light-welterweight.

Anthony Crolla v Vasyl Lomachenko, April 2019

Before the Ukrainian’s effortless destruction of the proven Crolla in Los Angeles last weekend, there remained a debate surrounding whether he or Crawford is the world’s finest fighter, pound-for-pound. Yet that he somehow demonstrated further signs of improvement – more specifically an explosiveness and power – to complement his already remarkable punch volume and movement showed that not only is he the most impressive active fighter, but on the verge of becoming an all-time great.

Rocky Fielding v Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, December 2018

Even as the naturally bigger fighter, Fielding was considered a significant underdog when Alvarez – now said to be the world’s highest-paid athlete – moved to super-middleweight, having just recently defeated the great Gennady Golovkin. On fight night it showed; Alvarez was ruthless, securing four knockdowns before winning in the third round.

Tony Bellew v Oleksandr Usyk, November 2018

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Tony Bellew, left, was beaten in eight rounds by Oleksandr Usyk at Manchester Arena (Nick Potts/PA)

Bellew was in the finest form of his admirable career when he agreed to fight another Ukrainian in the masterful Usyk for all four cruiserweight world titles in Manchester. It came as little surprise that the Liverpudlian’s boxing ability and intelligence troubled the then-undisputed champion, but in the way that only the very best can against fighters of Bellew’s calibre, Usyk recovered from falling behind to produce the devastating stoppage that not only ended the fight, but Bellew’s career.

Jamie McDonnell v Naoya Inoue, May 2018

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Jamie McDonnell, right, was beaten inside two rounds by Naoya Inoue in Tokyo (Nick Potts/PA)

On one of the rare occasions being the bigger of the two fighters represented a disadvantage, then-WBA bantamweight champion McDonnell had a significant struggle to make the 118lb-weight limit against his Japanese opponent, making an already intimidating task even harder. As a consequence, despite being so proven at world level, the Doncaster fighter lasted only 112 seconds.

PA

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