By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
AMIR KHAN aims to become king of the ring when he meets his wife-to-be here later this week.
Khan will be reunited with fiancee Faryal Makhdoom ahead of the defence of his WBA and IBF world light-welterweight titles on Saturday.
Khan, who is 25 tomorrow, has a special gift in the shape of a £100,000 engagement ring that he has been unable to give her while being locked away at his training camp.
Faryal, a 20-year-old student from New York, flies into Washington later this week ahead of Khan’s bout with Lamont Peterson.
And he just can’t wait to see her, saying: “I am looking forward to seeing her after missing her for a couple of weeks. In fact, I haven’t even given her the engagement ring yet!”
Khan said of the bling for his bride-to-be: “It really is the best ring you have ever seen – it’s amazing.”
He is not sure if Faryal will take a seat at ringside, leaving the decision up to her on fight night.
He said: “She may be at the fight but, then again, she may stay at the hotel with my mum. It does not really bother me either way.”
One thing Khan is certain of is that having Faryal around will not affect his big-fight tunnel vision in any way.
He added: “I am always 100% focused when I am in the ring and my fiancee knows my sport comes first.
The one thing about me is that I keep my personal life away from my sporting life. And when I am training for a fight, that is my focus.”
With such determination to succeed, it’s no wonder that Khan insists that married life will not change him in his bid to become one of the best fighters of all time.
He said: “I will still be the same way. My sport will always be important to me.
“The family are good in that kind of situation because they take the pressure off me.
“Fighting must still come first, while I am still in the game and trying to achieve what I am trying to achieve over the next few years, and she understands that.”
Khan’s 27-year-old opponent Peterson says he is determined to become only the second man to get the better of the Bolton fighter in his professional career.
The solitary loss in Khan’s 27 paid fights came in a shock first-round KO at the hands of Colombian Breidis Prescott in September 2008. Now Peterson, with one defeat in 31 bouts, wants to claim his scalp and said: “This is my chance to win two world titles in my home town and I don’t aim to waste it.
“I’m sure Khan has been training hard to defend his titles, but I’ve been training even harder to protect my home turf.
“I just have to go in there and take care of business. I’m here to win, and to do it in front of my home support will be marvellous.”
That said, he is still the massive underdog against Khan, who will be involved in his seventh world championship fight.
However, Peterson, who defeated Victor Cayo to set up this title shot, said: “At the end of the day, none of his history matters to me.
“When we get in the ring, what he’s done in the past does not matter.
“It matters what he’s going to do when we get in there for 12 rounds. I believe he’s going lose.”
THE Khan-Peterson fight in Washington on Saturday will be screened live on Sky Sports HD.