By Terence Dooley
Bolton’s former WBA and IBF light-welterweight champion Amir Khan has reiterated his desire to challenge Missouri’s IBF welterweight title-holder Devon Alexander later this year. Khan, 28-3 (19), insists that he is eager to secure the bout and that his decision win over Julio Diaz in May was his last contest below the 147-pound limit [match was held at a catch-weight of 143-pounds].
“I’ve chilled out, got married [to Faryal Makhdoom] and been on my honeymoon, but, looking back on that last fight, Diaz came to win and was tough — that was a good version of Diaz,” said Khan when speaking to BoxingScene on Saturday evening. “Shawn Porter drew with Diaz [in December], and Shawn’s a good fighter — a lot of people thought Diaz won.
“There are a lot of fights to be made for me, but they’ll be at 147, so my next fight could be Devon Alexander or someone else at that weight. I can make light-welterweight, don’t get me wrong, but I wasn’t as strong at it and in the last few fights I could feel myself weakening myself to come down to the weight. I’m very big for the weight, and I couldn’t put the energy and strength back in during those 24 hours after the weigh-in. I know my own body and know I’ll be stronger at 147.
“You learn from past mistakes. It doesn’t make sense to kill yourself to make weight and I’ve never been put down in sparring against the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Alfredo Angulo. When I was making it easier, against [Marcos] Maidana and Zab Judah, they were hitting me clean, but I didn’t go down. It is only when I started killing myself to make weight that I had problems against people like Danny Garcia [who stopped Khan in round four last July], so I’m going to be professional and step up.”
Khan versus Alexander had looked a done deal earlier this month, but nothing has been nailed down yet. However, the 26-year-old former titlist believes that his pulling power will eclipse Alexander’s and that, in this case, the champion needs the fight just as much as the challenger.
“He wants to fight, but I hear he’s playing a bit hard to get,” admitted Khan. “I’ll do anything to get that fight.”
“I’ll sell the place out more than Devon Alexander in America,” he said when asked if he expects to draw a lot of U.S. support should the fight get made. “People want to see me fight and I’ve got a lot of support in that fight. I’m a British fighter who went to America and got support from their fans for my fights — it is amazing.”
Please send news and views to [email protected] or Twitter @Terryboxing.