By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
CRAIG Watson, who once famously dumped Amir Khan on the canvas, again has him in his sights.
Watson says he has “unfinished business” with the WBA world light-welterweight champion and is hoping to lock horns with him once again.
The pair met in Preston in the ABA Championships in 2005 when Khan, who had won Olympic silver the previous year, was thinking of turning professional.
But those dreams almost suffered a major setback when Watson dropped him in the third round with Khan only escaping thanks to a generous count.
While Khan went on to win a world belt, Watson has carved out a career which sees him again challenging for the British welterweight title.
The Manchester southpaw meets John O’Donnell for the vacant belt at Wembley Arena next Saturday in a rematch of an April 2009 clash that he lost on points.
But Watson, 28, is looking beyond that bout to a future tussle with Khan, who is likely to move up a weight before too long.
He said: “I really want the opportunity to do it again and I feel I have unfinished business with him.
“He will come up to welterweight in the near future and if he does it is a natural match – one that I hope comes off.”
Watson, who has won 19 of his 22 paid fights, believes that their careers might have panned out very differently if that ABA result had been different.
He said: “I had him on the floor and I think I might have been where he is now if the referee had stopped the fight.
“He was very fast when I boxed him but I caught him flush on the chin and he went over. It was a long count, but he has learnt a lot from that.
“I haven’t really spoken to him since that night, but we have said a quick ‘hello’ when we have bumped into each other.
“I see him on telly and think, ‘I had you on the floor once’. But you have to say that, as a fighter, he is outstanding.”
While he dreams of a Khan rematch, his immediate aim is to beat O’Donnell for the British title next weekend.
He said: “I believe I beat O’Donnell last time, but I hadn’t boxed for 11 months and did have ring rust.
“I have been kept busy so my timing will be there from the start.”