Thursday, January 7, 2010

Amir Khan Willing To Take On All Comers

WBA super lightweight titlist Amir Khan says his mid-2009 move to 140-pounds has made all of the difference in the world compared to life as a 135-pound lightweight.

At 140, Khan feels unbeatable and much stronger and he has thrown down the gauntlet to anybody in the red-hot super lightweight division that wants to step up and attempt to take his title belt - including Marcos Maidana, Paulie Malignaggi, Breidis Prescott and Nate Campbell.

“I am a very dedicated fighter,” Khan said in a telephone interview from England on Tuesday. “But the thing is, I have to kill myself to make 135. I used to walk into the ring and I could tell I wasn’t right. I used to suffer, my legs were weak and I just didn’t feel right. At 140, I can still eat, I can drink lots of water. I really think 140 is the perfect weight for me and I can make the weight relatively easy.”

Khan has a full roster of candidates at 140 pounds to choose from and he claims he is willing to fight any of them - including interim WBA titlist Marcos Maidana, Paulie Malignaggi or Nate Campbell.

“I will fight them all,” says Khan. “I believe I could outbox Paulie Malignaggi. He’s made for my style and I could outbox him. As far as Maidana goes, he is my mandatory fight, but I’m not sure what he is doing. Freddie Roach said we would take that fight. Nate Campbell is another fighter where I could outbox him. I feel his is totally made for my style.”

Khan admits he is relatively new to the super lightweight division and he recognizes that the man to beat at 140 is WBO belt holder Timothy Bradley.

“Yes, I think he is probably at his peak as a fighter right now,” said Khan. “He is the number one guy in the division, I feel. But down the line I think I would be ready for him, too. Maybe not right now. I am only twenty-three and I just moved up to light welterweight and Timothy Bradley is very experienced at this weight. But I think if I get a few more fights under my belt and some more experience at this weight, that I would be ready to fight him, maybe by the end of 2010.”

In looking ahead to the future, Khan says his desire is to unify the belts at 140 and make his name known in the United States.

Khan always shows up in great shape and ready to fight. At age 23, the sky could be the limit.

“I’ll tell you what,” Khan said. “When I am in England, everywhere I go, not just Bolton, everyone knows my name. That’s what I want here in America, too. I want to be like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather - the best fighters in the world.”
Trained by Freddie Roach, who also trains Pacquiao, Khan has had several opportunities in the recent past to spar with the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter.

“Our sparring is like real fights,” said Khan. “Neither one of us backs up and the people that watch it have been quite entertained. That has helped me so much and it gave me a lot of confidence, especially after I was knocked out against Breidis Prescott. Manny throws shots that you don’t see and he is so fast. So if you can hold your own against him, that really helps your confidence and it helped me an awful lot.”

Khan also brought up the name of Breidis Prescott, who starched him in one round in Sept. 2008. “I would love to get a rematch with him now. I think I could beat him, knock him out late. He caught me clean the first time and I just couldn’t recover. But I’ll say that if he had caught anybody at that weight, with those same punches, they would have been knocked out, too. But I learn from my mistakes, I am a much better fighter now.”

Khan feels that he should be back in the ring by March or April. He does not know whether the fight will be in the U.S. or the United Kingdom. He is now a promotional free agent and he says talks are ongoing with promoters and that he should have a better idea of who and where he will fight within the next few weeks.

January 2010

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