By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
AMIR KHAN has vowed to put the pride back into British boxing following David Haye’s world title humiliation.
WBA world light-welterweight champ Amir Khan climbs into the ring with IBF belt holder Zab Judah at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on July 23.
The fight comes hot on the heels of Londoner Haye’s comprehensive points defeat by Wladimir Klitschko in their world heavyweight clash in Hamburg.
But Khan said: “That won’t happen to me. I now have the chance to put the pride back into British boxing. I have the skill and the heart to do that.
“David went there and did what he did. It was a huge fight for him against one of the best heavyweights in the world and he didn’t succeed.
“I am going in there to win and be explosive. I can learn a lot from David Haye and I won’t go down his road of talking up the fight the way he did.”
Haye repeatedly angered Klitschko and his world champion brother Vitali with trash-talking and stunts ahead of the fight.
Khan said: “He sold the fight well and it made him a lot of money. But I am a bit different, more calm and collected. I let my fists do the talking.
“David is a good friend of mine but I would never like to be in the position he was in and put pressure on myself.
“I have got the style and the excitement to get people turning on their televisions and getting hooked on me.
“I am not taking anything away from David because he is a great fighter – but a lot of people were disappointed with his performance.
“I want to put on a good fight and get all the fans excited again.
“A lot of people were disappointed in his performance against Klitschko, but it should be remembered he was up against a very awkward opponent.
“I have the right kind of fighting approach that people will want to watch and I know this will be an exciting fight between two big punchers.
“I am at that level where I can’t afford to be beaten, because I have so many big fights ahead that I want to happen.
“I have the skill and the heart to get stuck in. Even when one of my fights gets a bit boring, I always try to push it.”
The 33-year-old Judah has won 41 of his 47 fights and 24-year-old Khan is fully aware of the danger the American will pose in Vegas.
He said: “There is absolutely no way that we are underestimating Zab Judah at all.
“He is vastly experienced and knows what to do in the ring. But I am more than confident of coping with any eventuality.”
Judah, like Haye, has been trash-talking his opponent in recent weeks, but Khan says that will never get under his skin.
He said: “My job is to go in there and win the fight.
“He can go in there and make himself look stupid but I will be the quiet and calm one.
“A lot of fighters talk a lot when they know they can’t win. But I go into this fight confident and don’t need to talk to gain any confidence.”
Amir Khan vs. Zab Judah will be screened live on Primetime PPV (Channel 480 on Sky) for £14.95. To order, please call 0871 200 4444 or visit www.primetimelive.co.uk