Amir Khan (credit: Al Bello/Getty Images)
Amir Khan is finally accepting that he likely will not be fighting Floyd Mayweather in September as he had hoped, and has already began to look towards who might now be on his hitlist as future opponents.
Rumours of Mayweather facing a training partner of Khan’s, Andre Berto, continue to circulate and seem to be more accurate with every passing day. At this stage, Khan doesn’t know who Mayweather will face in his supposed final fight, but he does not expect it to be him.
”It can’t happen with me and Mayweather. I’ve been calling him and his team, Mayweather’s just not interested,” Khan told Sport360.
”If he does call me out, six weeks before the fight it would be cheating the fans, cheating me because he knew he couldn’t beat me fair and square. Unless he changes the date I can’t see it.”
Khan continues to persist with his view that Mayweather knows the fight against the British welterweight is one of the tougher style matchups out there for him and, subsequently, prefers to take a fight with a more favourably matched opponent.
”I really believe he thinks it’s going to be a very hard fight and he knows it’s a fight he might lose. Non-boxing fans might not understand but stylistically look at what gives him problems: Speed, movement, accuracy, power, size. I know Manny Pacquiao had speed and power but he couldn’t get to him. You know why he couldn’t get to him? Because he didn’t have the size. Physically he was tiny compared to Mayweather.”
So what about a fight between Khan and Pacquiao, his former training partner, if the Mayweather fight is seemingly out of reach once again? Khan admits it’s a fight he would love to take and even expressed delight at the fight recently being talked about as potentially taking place in Dubai.
”A fight with Manny Pacquiao in Dubai could be massive. I’d love to take that fight. We’re friends but sometimes you’ve got to put friendship to one side. That fight would be amazing. If that fight does come off it would be towards the end of next year in Dubai. Obviously Dubai has a big Filipino community and a big British and Pakistani community, too. It would be a massive fight.”
Realistically, however, that fight is unlikely to happen any time soon. Khan is advised by Al Haymon, who is currently the subject of lawsuits from both Top Rank – who promote Pacquiao – and Golden Boy Promotions. Khan will likely have to look towards fellow Haymon-advised fighters for opponents, and forget about Top Rank and Golden Boy promoted fighters for at least the foreseeable future.
One such Haymon-advised fighter is Keith ”One Time” Thurman, who has called out Khan on a number of occasions in the past year or so. Khan claims that Thurman is another fighter he would not be averse to taking on in the next year or so.
”Keith is a good fighter. He calls himself ‘one-time’ but it should be ‘sometimes’ because it’s just not really happening for him lately, with the level going up around him. I like him and I’d take that fight.
”He’s obviously built his name up in America knocking people out and beating a lot of the people who I’ve beaten. Next year could be the biggest year of my life. Maybe a Kell Brook fight could happen, maybe a Keith Thurman fight could happen. If it makes sense, then definitely.”
One man that doesn’t make any sense to Khan is Shane Mosley. The 43-year-old is set to return to the ring next month to fight fellow veteran, Ricardo Mayorga, and has been talking up a fight with Khan on Twitter this week. But Khan has completely dismissed any possibility of the fight ever taking place at this stage of Mosley’s career.
”I think Shane just wants to cash-in. I don’t want to fight Shane because I’m a fan of him and I don’t want to give him a beating. I want to remember Shane’s a fighter who fought the best. If I fight him and beat him I won’t get the credit for it. It will never, ever happen.
”I can’t believe he’s even calling me out! I’m not sure if he needs the money, he must be desperate.”