He’s Got Next
Though he’s only 25, Amir knows that it isn’t going to be flash and style alone that will make him a household name. He’s stepping his PR game up but realizes the fastest way to get the publicity he desires is by winning big fights. When the British sports star speaks of “big fights,” he means that both literally and figuratively. After his fight with Peterson, he will be moving up from the light welterweight division (140 lbs.) to the welterweight division (147 lbs.), a decision based on his domination of the 140 lbs. class, his natural weight being around 150 lbs., and of course his desire to fight in a division that features marquee names like Mayweather and Pacquiao, the latter of whom Khan is already quite familiar with.
Not only do they share the same gym and trainer, but he and Pac-Man have also sparred on several occasions. However, the fact that they’re stablemates doesn’t stop the outspoken Khan from talking about what advantages he has over one of the top pound-for-pound boxers in the world.
I think in the world now, there’s only one guy that people are saying would give Mayweather a test, and that’s me.
“Manny has the advantage of being a southpaw but I have the advantage of speed. I don’t think Manny’s ever fought someone as fast as I am. The shots that hurt you are the shots you don’t see and I think Manny may have a problem with that,” Khan says. He's also quick to admit what he's learned from the arguable pound-for-pound king: “I love sparring with Manny. It’s good experience for me to share the ring with one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. It’s only going to make me better.”
Sparring in the ring isn’t the only place Amir has thrown a jab at Manny; many felt he took a shot at the Filipino after his last bout when Khan initially said he felt Juan Manuel Marquez had won the fight. “I’m one of those guys that speaks the truth. When I watched the fight live I thought Manny lost by one or two rounds, but then after watching the replay I think Manny was the more accurate guy and won by one or two rounds.” Despite the statement, Khan insists there hasn’t been any backlash between his camp, Manny’s or Freddie Roach. “They know what I said but at the end of the day, they’re not going to use it against me because me and Manny are friends. Everything's been cool.”
While a bout with Pacquaio isn’t likely to happen, Khan has publicly made it known that he wants a piece of Pacquiao’s rival, Floyd Mayweather. He says the competition Floyd’s been fighting isn’t on his level and that he is definitely different from the 42 fighters who have challenged Money May and come up short.
“What separates me from guys he’s fought like Mosley and Marquez is I’m younger, I’m more hungry, I’m stronger, I’m quicker, and I’ve got youth but also experience behind me. I think in the world now, there’s only one guy that people are saying would give Mayweather a test, and that’s me.”
A fight against Mayweather would no doubt give Khan the opportunity to become known throughout the U.S., a form of recognition Khan feels he’s worthy of as he sees himself in a higher class than Mayweather’s previous opponents.
“He fought Victor Ortiz and I stopped him in the second round in amateurs. He’s fighting guys that I know I can go in there and beat. Also, Marquez got beat by Mayweather, I offered Marquez a fight and he refused to fight.”