With Ricky Hatton, you really knew.
With Prince Naseem Hamed and Joe Calzaghe, latterly, you just knew.
And boy did Carl Froch – armed with George Groves, Wembley Stadium and its 80,000 crowd – let us know about it.
Amir Khan, however, appears to come up short in this area.
I don’t mean punch resistance – I’m referring to box-office appeal and ability to attract fans to shows.
Since winning the WBA light-welterweight crown against Andriy Kotelnik in 2009 Khan has had 13 fights, including his recent knockout loss to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Only three landed in the UK thus giving boxing aficionados the idea the Bolton man was a big deal in the US.
This impressive picture has been cultivated by Oscar De La Hoya’s acclaim, and the dismissive tone taken by Khan towards Kell Brook and talk of a British super-fight with the IBF welterweight champion,
Yet if Bob Arum is to be believed, it’s all an illusion.
This week the Top Rank promoter told the Daily Telegraph: “Amir Khan means absolutely nothing in the United States.
“He brought over no people for the Canelo fight. He saved the Brits a lot of agony.
“He is not a draw on PPV in England. He is looked upon on both sides of the pond as yesterday’s news, and yet he refuses to recognise that and feels his value is very, very high, which it is not.”
The 2004 Olympic silver medallist deserves respect for challenging the Mexican icon and earning a career-best purse of around £9 million; you do not make that kind of money fighting nobodies unless you’re Alvarez or Floyd Mayweather Jr.
But I wonder what his true value is in today’s boxing landscape.
The 2009 Kotelnik matchup was his first world title fight yet there were empty seats that night at Manchester’s MEN Arena.
When he faced Zab Judah at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas in 2011 [for Judah’s IBF light-welterweight belt, pictured below], reports suggested HBO staff asked fans to move closer to ringside so the mediocre attendance wasn’t visible to TV viewers.
A year later Golden Boy Promotions, pre-empting a terrible turnout to Khan versus Carlos Molina, devised a charitable scheme which saw them hand out tickets in exchange for unwrapped toys donated to underprivileged kids.
His bout with Canelo, 25, fell 7,000 short of full capacity at Vegas’s T Mobile Arena.
After their encounter, he said: “Eddie Hearn keeps saying Brook is a big draw, but he’s not.
“I respect him, he’s got a world title, but he’s not a big name.”
Will Brook’s September 10 fight with WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin finally change the dynamic of their rivalry?
Not completely but in a crossover context – barring an early stoppage – it should see him gain some ground, certainly enough to meet Khan’s strict criteria.
He must be a big draw! He must be a big name!
If Canelo had adopted such an approach, their fight would not have happened.