Former WBA and IBF world light welterweight champion Amir Khan says he has a real desire to box in Edinburgh before calling time on his star-studded career.
Khan, who celebrates his 29th birthday today, was in the Capital at the weekend visiting close friends and was a notable attendee at MGM Scotland’s ‘Edinburgh Fight Night’ bill at Meadowbank on Saturday night.
As word spread of the Bolton star’s appearance among the crowd of more than 2000, Khan was more than happy to sign autographs and pose for photos in what was another hugely successful show for MGM promoter Sam Kynoch and his team.
But, for a boxer who has fought in some of the sport’s most iconic venues including Madison Square Garden in New York, Edinburgh still remains one city he hopes to be able to say one day, ‘I boxed there’.
“I fought in Glasgow earlier on in my career so I’d love to put a fight on here in Edinburgh,” he said. “It’s something I’d really love to do. I’m still relatively young so I’ve still got a lot of fights left in my career. There is a huge fan base up here so why not? One thing I like about Scotland is the boxing fans have a real love for everyone in the ring so it would be a massive show and definitely something I’d like to do, perhaps towards the end of my career.”
Khan was largely impressed with what he saw in the ring at Meadowbank and is predicting a bright future for some of the city’s emerging talents. And, having visited Lochend Boxing Club in previous visits north of the border, Khan revealed he has built up a strong rapport with head coach Terry McCormack.
“Every time I’m here in Edinburgh I always pop into Lochend as I know Terry really well,” he explained. “I come up and visit at least two, three times a year to see my friends and have a couple of days to chill and get away from everything. Terry always gets me on the pads and we do a little session. I brought my strength and conditioner up with me too at the weekend so I managed to fit in a lot of training.
“But I also really wanted to head along on Saturday night and support the local lads. I think they’ve got massive potential and from what I saw at Lochend, there are some real top kids out there. It’s one of the best gyms in the whole of Scotland so you have to give a lot of credit to Terry for bringing these lads up from grassroots to where they are now.
“I’m very impressed with the talent up here and I really believe Scotland will become a very strong nation over the next couple of years.”
Khan is hopeful of a return to the ring around spring time although his opponent is still to be determined.
Confirming speculation that he is set to face compatriot and current IBF world welterweight champion Kell Brook as a possibility, he admitted there are a variety of other options still to be considered.
“I could be out in April, possibly against [Manny] Pacquiao who is a good fighter,” he said. “If not, I might be out later, possibly in America as I’d like to get a rematch with Danny Garcia but I don’t think they’re keen to fight me. It could be in the UK, though, as there has been a lot of talk about Kell Brook but the negotiations haven’t even started yet despite what’s been said. I’ll leave it to my promoter Al Haymon and let him do everything.”