By Mark Vester
WBA junior welterweight champion Amir Khan (24-1, 17KOs) has made it known that he's not overlooking his upcoming opponent, Paul McCloskey (22-0, 12KOs). Their fight is set for April 16 at the MEN Arena in Manchester, England, but Khan also has a tentative unification with WBC/WBO champion Timothy Bradley (27-0, 11KOs) on July 23.
"Not once have I said that I'm looking ahead to Bradley. My whole focus is on McCloskey and I'm not taking this fight easy. I'm training like a challenger, working really hard in the gym," Khan told Sky Sports News. "This fight for me is even bigger because it's in Manchester and it's in front of my home crowd. I've not fought at home for a long time and it's a big opportunity to show how good I am."
Khan wants to see what McCloskey brings to the table. The undefeated European champion is confident of victory. Khan questions whether McCloskey is ready for the world level.
"This is world class level now, Paul McCloskey is the European champion, he is European level and he is moving up to world class level," Khan said, "I think it is a big step up for him. European level is a little bit different than world level. I think he is going to find it quite different. We are up there at the elite level in world boxing, and I have to say it takes a lot of guts thinking he can be part of this level."