Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Khan wants Mayweather but must focus on Peterson first

Amir Khan admits he can’t afford to let thoughts of a potential blockbuster fight with Floyd Mayweather distract him ahead of his upcoming contest against Lamont Peterson.

Khan announced yesterday that he will defend his WBA and IBF light-welterweight titles against American Peterson at the Washington Convention Center on December 10.

While Peterson is considered a reasonably well established boxer after losing just once in 31 fights, the bout is not exactly on a par with the mega-fight against the unbeaten Mayweather which Khan has targeted for next year.

The Bolton fighter admits Mayweather is his number one target, with next summer being pencilled in as the date that the two could meet, most likely in the United States.

But the 24-year-old is also keen not to let the thought of a potential multi-million pound blockbuster with Mayweather distract him from what could be his last fight at light-welterweight.

Khan fell victim to the hype that surrounded him earlier in his career with talk of domestic match-ups with Kevin Mitchell and John Murray distracting him to the point where he lost his focus and was knocked out by Breidis Prescott — beaten on points last month by Dungiven’s Paul McCloskey — in 54 seconds.

The Prescott loss is the only defeat of Khan's career.

“I have ambitions and one of them is to fight Floyd Mayweather and beat him, but I have got Lamont Peterson to beat first,” Khan said.

“I know I have to focus on this one fight because one mistake can change your life.”

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Belfast heavyweight Martin Rogan is set to clash with Bedford's Matt Skelton at the King's Hall on November 12.

Former Prizefighter winner Rogan became the first man to stop Skelton in 2009 when he claimed the Commonwealth heavyweight title.

Skelton, 44, is a former British, Commonwealth and European champion and also held the WBU belt.

Rogan had wanted to take on Panama's Lewis Andreas Pineda on October 27 for the lightly-regarded WBU belt but the British Boxing Board of Control refused to back it.

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