By Keith Idec
Fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Timothy Bradley are among the matches Amir Khan would embrace in 2012.
The once-beaten British star doesn’t see nearly as much value in accepting a rematch with Breidis Prescott, who knocked out Khan in the first round three years ago in Manchester, England.
“He’s had a lot of defeats since we fought each other,” Khan said while discussing his Dec. 10 fight against Lamont Peterson. “I think he’s gone downhill, but if it comes to the stage where we need opponents, I know he’ll always be there … that bout will always be there for the fans. But at the moment I’ve got big names I want to take on first. I’ve got a different path I want to follow and I want to go toward that path.”
Colombia’s Prescott has made repeated public pleas for a Khan rematch, but interest in the fight has dwindled due to Prescott’s slide since his September 2008 upset win. The hard-hitting Prescott is just 4-4 since conquering Khan (26-1, 18 KOs).
The first three of those losses were decision defeats — a 10-round split decision against Miguel Vazquez two fights after knocking out Khan, a 12-round unanimous decision to England’s Kevin Mitchell and another 12-round unanimous decision to Northern Ireland’s Paul McCloskey on Sept. 10 in Belfast.
Prescott could’ve created more interest in a Khan rematch by beating previously undefeated junior welterweight contender Mike Alvarado on the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez undercard Nov. 12 in Las Vegas. The 28-year-old Prescott (24-4, 19 KOs) was winning that bout on all three scorecards entering the 10th and final round, but a , bloodied, desperate Alvarado (32-0, 23 KOs) came back to land several crushing uppercuts and stopped Prescott with 1:07 left in the fight.
Khan, meanwhile, is 8-0 since Prescott knocked him out. The 24-year-old IBF/WBA 140-pound champion eliminated a lot doubt about his chin by withstanding Argentine slugger Marcos Maidana’s onslaught nearly a year ago in Las Vegas to win a 12-round unanimous decision.
“That fight, we don’t need it,” Khan said of a Prescott rematch. “But maybe if we do need it one day, then he’s going to be there.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com.