by James Slater - Amir Khan has barely had time to celebrate his superb points victory over Andriy Kotelnik, but talk has already turned towards his next fight. The new WBA light-welterweight champion silenced a lot of critics with his excellent display of boxing skill last night, and now talks have restarted about his possibly facing another British hero in former ruler Ricky Hatton.
Speaking at last night's post-fight press conference, Khan, his trainer Freddie Roach and his promoter Frank Warren, all gave their opinion on the fight that has been in the pipeline for a number of months now..
Interestingly, while Roach and his newest world champion are in favour of the all-British showdown, promoter Warren is not - claiming the fight would be too big a risk to Hatton's health. Roach, too, would prefer Ricky to walk away, but the great trainer admitted he'd take the fight if Hatton wanted it.
"If Ricky does decide to fight again and continue his career then he's made for my guy and I'd take that fight in a heartbeat," Roach said yesterday.
Khan himself said he admires Hatton and that he'll leave the decision with his team.
"I'll leave the decision with the team," Khan said. "At the moment I'm going to enjoy what I've done tonight. Boxing is a game where you have to face fighters and that would be a huge fight that British people would want to see. We'll see what happens and like I say I'll leave it with Frank and Freddie and if they think it's the right move for me to make then I'll do it."
Warren is not keen on the fight taking place at all though.
"From my point of view Ricky shouldn't be fighting - it's not good for boxing and it's not good for him more importantly," Warren said at the conference. "He's just been in hospital for whatever that was. Financially it's a fight Amir would do really well out of but Ricky would get stopped again. I don't think he should fight. If he wants it I'm sure it could happen but for his health he should definitely retire."
Hatton is/has been in hospital and on a drip with an undisclosed stomach bug of some kind, yet his father Ray assured everyone Ricky was okay. Of course we all wish him well. As soon as he's fit and ready, Ricky will surely find himself once again being asked about a potential fight with Khan.
As is often the case in boxing, money may talk, but the ball does appear to be in Ricky Hatton's court.
Article posted on 20.07.2009