By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
AMIR KHAN is ready to fill the void left in British boxing after David Haye’s defeat and Ricky Hatton’s retirement.
The Bolton boxer hopes to cheer up his pal Haye by capturing trash-talking Yank Zab Judah’s IBF light-welterweight title at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Haye, who lost his WBA heavyweight belt to Wladimir Klitschko in a world title unifi cation clash earlier this month, will be ringside to cheer on Khan as he tries to unify the world light-welterweight titles.
With Haye, 30, yet to decide whether he will box on and Hatton officially announcing his retirement earlier this month, only Khan and Nottingham’s WBC super-middleweight king Carl Froch are now involved in big global fights.
Khan has made four successful defences of his WBA title and the 2004 Olympic silver medallist’s career will only get more exciting if he fulfils his plans of stepping up to welterweight to unify the titles there.
Khan, 24, has already been linked with fights against Mexican legend Erik Morales, the Sheffield welterweight Kell Brook and America’s multi-weight world champion Floyd Mayweather.
But Khan insists he is not letting the speculation distract him from the job at hand against experienced Judah, 33, who has also unified the world titles at welterweight.
He said: “I spoke to David after the fight and he was cool.
“He was obviously disappointed, but said he would be coming out to Vegas to watch me.
“He will be ringside and he told me to keep flying the flag. He was very supportive and hopefully I will catch up with him after the fight.
“It’s a good time for me. David was a good champion and will be remembered as one, just like Ricky Hatton will be.
“It’s a good time for me to shine and show people how good I am. I’m the guy now who is fighting for world titles for the fans to follow.
“It’s dangerous to talk too much about future fights.
"My promoter, Golden Boy, mentioned my future fights but my whole game plan is to win this fight then I can look to the future.
“At the moment it’s too early to look at those fights – I don’t want to get distracted.
“This is a huge fight for me and I want to be one of the youngest to unify the world titles.”
Judah threw a stool at a referee after he lost to Aussie Kostya Tszyu ten years ago in another world title unification fight and Khan is expecting a dirty battle.
He added: “It could be a rough fight. I might have to dig deep and push him back at times. It depends what type of game plan he brings to the fight.
“If he tries to run and be sneaky, it will make the fight rough and messy.”
AMIR KHAN vs Zab Judah will be screened live on Primetime PPV (Channel 480 on Sky) and Virgin On Demand for £14.95. To order call 0871 200 4444 or visit www.primetimelive.co.uk