By Keith Idec
Amir Khan’s fight against Luis Collazo on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana undercard is an obvious opportunity for Khan to prove he deserves to be one of Mayweather’s future opponents.
But Khan contended that he is done complaining about Mayweather choosing Maidana over him and is completely consumed with conquering Collazo on May 3 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The polarizing British boxer realizes Collazo intends to punch the same ticket to win the Mayweather sweepstakes that night and cannot afford to get distracted by Mayweather drama, especially since Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) will come off a one-year layoff against New York’s Collazo (35-5, 18 KOs).
“The whole focus is going to be on Luis Collazo,” Khan said. “I’m not really going to get into all the hype of [a fight against Mayweather] happening in the future. If it happens, it happens. I’m just going to be focused on one thing. … Even though it didn’t happen last time, it’s not going to affect me in any way. I’m just going to be focused on my next fight. I know I’m up against a tough guy. I’ve said it before as well – I really believe that this fight can steal the show on the night because you’ve got two young, hungry fighters who want to prove themselves.”
Khan acknowledged, though, that it was difficult to move past not landing what would’ve been a lucrative fight with Mayweather. The former junior welterweight champion campaigned long and hard to make Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) fight him and vehemently voiced his displeasure once Mayweather announced Feb. 24 that he had decided to fight Maidana (35-3, 31 KOs), who upset Mayweather’s friend and protégé, Adrien Broner, by unanimous decision Dec. 14 in San Antonio.
“It has been tough, mentally,” Khan said. “But we’ve kind of turned it around and we’ve worked it toward our advantage by working in the gym, spending time with [trainer] Virgil [Hunter], coming to America early, having mini-camps mixed in. Even though I haven’t fought [in nearly 11 months], I’ve spent a lot of time in the gym, I’ve been sparring, I’ve been hitting the mitts, I’ve been working on different techniques and stuff.
“And I think sometimes it’s good when you – well, it worked for me – you know, not having an opponent in the back of my mind, who I’m going to be fighting. At least that way, then, I’m not focusing on that one style. I can focus on different styles and different ways of improving my style. So I didn’t have that pressure. But overall, it was a disappointment. But like I said, it was a mental thing and I got over that. I’m a mentally strong fighter. I’ve proven that numerous times, having come back from my defeats, which not many fighters would come back from.”
The Khan-Collazo bout will be one of four that’ll compose a Showtime Pay-Per-View broadcast on May 3. It’ll also include a 10-round junior welterweight bout between Cincinnati’s Broner (27-1, 22 KOs) and Carlos Molina (17-1-1, 7 KOs), of Norwalk, Calif., and a 10-round super middleweight match that’ll pit J’Leon Love (17-0, 10 KOs, 1 NC), of Dearborn Heights, Mich., against Mexico’s Marco Antonio Periban (20-1-1, 13 KOs).
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.Tags: Amir Khan , Floyd Mayweather Jr. , Luis Collazo , Khan-Collazo , Khan vs. Collazo