Amir Khan expects to prove himself as the best light-welterweight on the planet early tomorrow before setting his sights on pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather.
The 25-year-old Briton, who was reinstated as WBA champion this week, takes on WBC holder Danny Garcia in Las Vegas in a unification bout which will see the winner crowned Ring magazine champion too.
Khan then plans to move up to welterweight and take on American superstar Mayweather. The Bolton fighter and his team are convinced he is ready for such a test, while Golden Boy Promotions boss Richard Schaefer insists it is “an easy fight to make”.
First, Khan must get the win against the unbeaten Garcia. “This is my chance to prove once and for all that I’m the best in the division,” Khan said. “I can win the WBC title tomorrow and will have held three of the four belts in the light-welterweight division, so it’s time to move up to 147lbs. I just think there are more challenges out there for me in that division. I want to be in big world title fights and in big fights with the likes of Mayweather. To do that, I need to be up in that division.”
He added: “Watching Mayweather’s last fight (a points win against Miguel Cotto), coupled with the way I’ve been training, I think I’m ready. Styles make fights. I know Mayweather’s fought other styles and has looked so good against them, but he’s never fought anyone with my style. I know I will cause Mayweather problems. He’s getting older and slower now.
“It’s the best time to catch him. I really believe I do have the style to beat him. One of the reasons I want to move up to 147lbs is to fight Mayweather and it’s not about the money, it’s about me knowing I can beat the guy and be the next guy at the top, the next pound-for-pound champion.”
Mayweather is currently serving a prison sentence for domestic violence and Khan will be waiting when he is released in a few weeks’ time. “I hope he comes out of prison unscathed and he’s in shape because I really believe I have his number,” he said. Schaefer believes the fight could even happen before the year is out. He said: “Floyd Mayweather is going to get out of prison in early August. We’re going to sit down with him and see what his plans are but based on what I’ve been told he definitely wants to fight some time later on this year.
“Who knows, maybe we’re going to see Mayweather vs Khan later on this year. If you have two fighters who want to fight each other then it’s always an easy fight to make.” Khan (26-2, 18KO wins) is fighting on the back of a defeat to Lamont Peterson, which was tarnished by the Washington fighter’s failed drug test before their proposed rematch.
Garcia, though, has never tasted defeat. The Philadelphian (23-0, 14KOs) buys into the long-standing theory that Khan is vulnerable. “He gets hurt in nearly every fight,” said the American. “Then he runs after he gets hurt. That’s not defence. When he gets hurt on Saturday night, that’s what he’ll do again. He can run but he can’t hide.”