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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wembley Date With Floyd Mayweather Would Be Pinnacle of Amir Khan's Career

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After seeing his local team thrashed at Wembley Stadium last April, Bolton boxer Amir Khan would be forgiven if he didn't fancy staging the defining fight of his career take place at the home of English football.

But despite looking on as Stoke hammered the Trotters 5-0 in last season's FA Cup semi-final, Khan is still very keen to face Floyd Mayweather Jr at Wembley in what would be one of the biggest boxing events to ever take place in the UK.

The Bolton fighter looks destined to meet the man regarded, alongside Khan's gym mate Manny Pacquiao, as the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet in 2012 and will be hoping he doesn't take a battering like Owen Coyle's men.

However, with no disrespect to Bolton, or even Stoke for that matter, Khan is at the pinnacle of his sport and while he would be the underdog, he has grown into a fighter who won't be totally outclassed on the biggest of stages.

After easily dispatching of IBF champion Zab Judah last week, Khan is targeting one more fight in the light-welterweight division in December before making the step up to welterweight and preparing himself for a super-fight with Mayweather.

The American is keen to fight in the UK after growing an admiration for boxing fans on these shores when he fought Ricky Hatton back in 2007.

Hatton, always a fan favourite, took a huge crowd over to Las Vegas for what was a huge money-spinning bout for both fighters and Mayweather reckons he could create similar interest and sell out the 90,000-seater stadium if he was to face Khan.

As he has ruled out ever meeting his training partner Pacquiao, Khan certainly won't turn down the chance to face the undefeated Mayweather in what would be without doubt the biggest fight of his career.

"I think every young fighter wants to fight the best out there and in this era Floyd is the best along with Manny Pacquiao," Khan told Sky Sports News.

"I can't fight Manny because we train together and we're good friends but Floyd is a possibility, Floyd is a fight that - in the next 12 months - could happen.

"And to bring that fight to the UK - Floyd has said that he would want to fight in Wembley Stadium - what a huge fight that would be. I'm sure with someone like Floyd and myself, it would be a sell-out."

There's still a long way to go before the match-up can take place with Khan due out in December again and Mayweather facing Victor Ortiz in September, but both fighters seem keen to get the mouth-watering clash signed.

Khan has admitted he will succumb to Mayweather's stringent drug testing demands that stopped the American taking on Pacquiao in the past.

And rightly so as he would be foolish to let such a little request scupper the chance to earn not only the fight of his career, but also the biggest pay day.

The British fighter accepts his days as a light-welterweight are numbered and is planning the move up to welterweight to continue his ambition to be the best pound-for-pound fighter.

"I think there's only one more fight (for me) in this division, because it is so hard for me to get fights at 140 pounds. So we'll take this one fight, then we'll move to 147lbs where there are more challengers.

"We are going in the right direction, I've got (trainer) Freddie (Roach) and my team who are advising me, I just want to keep active and stay busy."

The road to Wembley begins in December for Khan as he cannot afford a slip-up if he is to earn his dream date with Mayweather.

An impressive showing in his last outing at light-welterweight and a comfortable warm-up at welterweight will set the Bolton man up perfectly.

And while Mayweather would still rightly be a red-hot favourite to claim glory should they meet, Khan will no doubt seek solace in the fact that Wembley has seen its fair amount of upsets over the years – albeit in a different sport.


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