Boxing


Everyone Wants A Piece Of Him, And Amir Khan Could Be Back In Action As Soon As July

by James Slater - As is the case with his stablemate and frequent sparring partner Manny Pacquiao, practically every fighter at or around Amir Khan's weight class wants to fight Khan as soon as is possible. The 23-year-old, who retained his WBA 140-pound title in impressive fashion against Paulie Malignaggi at the weekend, must now decide which of the fighters calling out for a piece of him he will actually face next.

Post-fight on Saturday, Khan told Max Kellerman he would be happy to face WBA interim champ at 140, Marcos Maidana next; and that would be some hot fight. However, the situation with the big-punching Argentine's back injury (which twice forced him to pull out of a summer date with WBO 140-pound ruler Timothy Bradley) is not clear, and we don't know if the 27-year-old will be in shape to face Khan next..

Another very familiar name who has also thrown his hat into the Khan ring is Colombia's Breidis Prescott. Prescott, as if you needed reminding, destroyed Khan back in September of 2008; inflicting "King Khan's" sole pro defeat via a stunning 54-second stoppage. Having moved up to 140-pounds in pursuit of Khan, Prescott returned to winning ways on Saturday's under-card in New York - talking out the little-known Jason Davis in three-rounds in a non-televised bout. Immediately after his badly needed win (Prescott had lost his last two, both on points), the banger known as "Khanqueror" made it clear he wants the 23-year-old next.

However, according to a news bit on ESPN.co.uk, Khan may actually face Australia's Michael Katsidis next - maybe even as soon as July. Katsidis, the WBO interim champ at 135-pounds, also enjoyed a great night on Saturday, taking out the previously unbeaten Kevin Mitchell inside three impressive rounds. Would Khan take such a risky fight, even if it would be against a naturally smaller man? Would "The Great" want to move up to 140, when there are plenty of big fights for him down at lightweight?

Whoever he does fight next, it seems there really is a good chance Khan will fight again some time in July.

"If we get the dates we will do it," Shah Khan said to ESPN.co.uk, on the subject of a possible Khan-Katsidis fight. "It is possible. We can get him ready in the short time and then we can have a break after Ramadam. We want him to fight three times a year."

However, the man who really knows, trainer Freddie Roach, said July could be a little soon for his man to fight again.

"It might be rushing it a little bit for July," Roach said. "I'd like a little bit longer to get him ready, but he will be okay. If I was getting him ready for a major, major world title fight then July would be too soon, but we can do it."

Do Freddie's words perhaps mean Khan will not be taking a "major, major" world title fight next, or does the ace-trainer not look at Katsidis as such a big fight for Khan? Maybe Khan will box a "mark time" fight next, and then look for a huge match-up in what would be his third fight of 2010.

Whatever he does next, Khan will enjoy a ton of attention from the fans. The big fights are out there for him - Maidana, Prescott II, Bradley, Devon Alexander and maybe Katsidis - and if Khan can win these type of match-ups, true superstardom will be his!

Article posted on 18.05.2010



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