By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
AMIR Khan last night claimed he WILL fight Ricky Hatton – providing it is for a world title.
Khan takes his first step back towards a title when he meets Carlos Molina in Los Angeles on December 15.
Hatton will make his return to the ring after a three-year absence a fortnight earlier when he fights Vyacheslav Senchenko in Manchester.
Talk of Khan meeting the former two-weight world champion next year has been rife, but the 25-year-old Bolton bruiser will only fight him if Hatton holds a world welterweight belt.
He said: “I could fight Hatton, but only if he is a world champion. The Ricky fight is one people keep talking about. I feel it can happen. Boxing is a business and I would rather do it if he was a world champ. It would be huge.
“Me and Ricky are good friends. Sometimes it is hard to be in the ring with a good friend.
“I have been to his house and vice versa, that’s how close we are.
“But boxing is a business and it could happen. Let’s see how Ricky fights.
“I want him to be on a good winning streak and I need to be on one as well. So let’s see how it goes.”
Khan, like Hatton, has plenty to prove on his comeback after losing his last two fights and he said: “This is a make-or-break bout for me.
“I know what I can do and I’ll be back up there next year, with winning a world title once again my objective.”
Khan, a double world light-welterweight champion, goes into the ring against Molina with a new trainer in his corner after parting with Freddie Roach.
Virgil Hunter, who works with WBC super-middleweight champ Andre Ward, is training him and Khan believes his influence will prevent him from “losing the plot” inside the ring.
He said: “Sometimes, when I see red during a fight, I lose the plot a bit and the game plan goes. Now, hopefully, that will be different.
“Virgil and I have spoken about things. I am an offensive fighter, but I need to be taught about defensive fighting as well.
“When I had my first session with Virgil, he knew what mistakes I was making. I have never had anyone work that defensive side and now it is about what it takes to be smart.
“I need to come back from defeat and win in convincing fashion.
“My main style as a boxer is using my brains, but sometimes, when you start winning fights so comfortably, you forget about what it means to be a boxer.”