Belfast Telegraph

Amir Khan vows to bring big showdowns back to Britain

Amir Khan has promised his British fans they have not seen the last of him despite embarking on the latest leg of his American adventure.

Khan has not boxed in his native United Kingdom for over a year, beating Dmitriy Salita in a round in Newcastle in December 2009.

His only outing since then was May's 11th-round stoppage of Paulie Malignaggi on his American debut in New York, while on Saturday he defends his WBA light-welterweight title for a third time against powerful punching mandatory challenger Marcos Maidana.

With only two fights in 2010 and both of those in the United States, 24-year-old Khan is hankering for a return to British shores.

“I was definitely disappointed not to get the Maidana fight staged in the UK,” the 2004 Olympic silver medalist said.

“I think it would have been brilliant for the British fans to have it over there because they are so passionate and supportive. They have been all through my career and I really want to bring the big fights to the UK.

“With this fight, Maidana didn't want to come to the UK. He kept refusing to fight and wanted to take it to purse bids so I said ‘look, where do you want the fight?’, he said ‘I want it in Las Vegas' so I said ‘I'll go where you want to go’. So hopefully I can get him out of the way and the next fight will be in the UK, guaranteed.”

Khan added: “It's also another opportunity for me to build my name even more over in America, it's big for me to fight here. I fought in New York last time, against Paulie Malignaggi, so people got to know who Amir Khan is and this fight is a big fight again and it's in Vegas.

“It's going to be good for me to show how good I am and who I am. Coming from England, training with Freddie Roach, I think it's good for me to be able to show how good I am.

“It's exciting because Vegas is the boxing capital of the world. If you want to make your name, you have to make it in America and if you can crack it, you crack the world.”

It was Khan's choice to focus on 'breaking' America and he insists he is seeing the benefits.

“Fighting Malignaggi in New York made a big difference because it's so big over here,” he said. “If you have one fight over here and put in a big performance, the people love you for it and want to see you again. Now, for example, I've got HBO who want to show my fight, they are really excited about the future with me.

“We want to crack that market in America, we want to get the non-boxing fans and become a crossover, mainstream star.”

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph