Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Amir Khan - WBA Junior Welterweight King

Trainer: 

Amir Khan Could Beat Alexander, Bradley, Maidana 'In One Night'


Four-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach told FanHouse recently that he would like to see WBA junior welterweight (140 pounds) king Amir Khan of England against one of four other fighters.

Those fighters would be either WBA and WBO lightweight (135 pounds) titlist Juan Manuel Marquez, or junior welterweight champion counterparts Tim Bradley of the WBO, southpaw Devon Alexander of the WBC and IBF, or interim WBA belt holder Marcos Rene Maidana.

But with the 36-year-old Marquez (50-5-1, 37 KOs) heavily weighing a fall defense against 29-year-old WBO interim lightweight titlist Michael Katsidis (27-2, 22 KOs) of Australia, that would leave the 23-year-old Alexander (21-0, 13 KOs), or either Bradley (26-0, 11 KOs) or Maidana (28-1, 27 KOs), each of whom is 26.

"Any one of those guys out there -- Maidana, Bradley, Alexander. I feel like Amir Khan could beat them all in one night," said Roach of Khan, for whom HBO has reserved a date of Dec. 11. "It doesn't really matter. They're not the best guys out there. Amir Khan is."

HBO is pushing for a Jan. 29 bout between Bradley and Alexander, but neither of those two or Maidana is scheduled as of yet to fight in the fall.

Golden Boy Promotions CEO, Richard Schaefer, however, said that 23-year-old Victor Ortiz (27-2-1, 21 KOs) would also be a consideration for Khan. 

Once a sixth-round knockout loser to Maidana in a bout where Maidana was floored three times, and Ortiz, twice, Ortiz must first get beyond a Sept. 18 bout with 32-year-old former world champion Vivan Harris (29-4-1, 19 KOs). 

"For Amir Khan, you heard from him directly, and I heard from him as well that the two most popular ones appear to be the fight against Marcos Maidana or a fight against Victor Ortiz," said Schaefer, who promotes Khan, Ortiz, Maidana and Marquez.

"Victor Ortiz is fighting on Sept. 18, as you know, against Vivian Harris, and it's certainly no gimme that Victor is going to win there, because Vivian Harris is a very dangerous opponent," said Schaefer. "In order to really lock in television dates and everything, you know, it seems like Maidana would be the most logical opponent."

Maidana and Khan have a common opponent in Ukrainian former WBA king, Andriy Kotelnik (31-4-1, 13 KOs), who decisioned Maidana but was decisioned by Khan.

"If it's Maidana, then I'm sure that the fight would take place in the United Kingdom. HBO has already indicated that if it's Maidana or Victor Ortiz that they would obviously televise it here in the United States," said Schaefer of Khan, who made his American debut with May's 11th-round knockout of former world champion Paulie Malignaggi at New York's Madison Square Garden WaMu Theatre.

"Amir Khan has said that he really would like to have his next fight in the United Kingdom, and I think that the British fans are very important to the sport of boxing, and that they're very important to Amir Khan's career. So I think that it's a wise thing and a smart thing to do," said Schaefer. "To allow him to switch from fighting in the United States and fighting in the United Kingdom. Each market is important, and you certainly don't want to forget your home fan base. In Amir's case, that's England. So it's the right thing to do, fighting back and forth in those venues - the UK and the U.S. and so on."

In another development, Schaefer confirmed a report by ESPN.com's Dan Rafael that handlers from the camp of WBC welterweight titlist Andre Berto (26-0, 21 KOs) have expressed interest in fighting Maidana.

"We were asked if that would be something that we and Maidana would be interested in. What we did is that we called Maidana and his manager and, you know, we asked them, to see what they would say. But, nothing is set," said Schaefer. 

"It was just some interest. Nothing is concrete. It's obviously not his weight," said Schaefer. "I think that Maidana is obviously one of the best fighters at 140, no question about it, and so I don't know if he would be interested in moving up in weight or not."

8/19/2010

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