After promising he is not looking past the challenge of Lamont Peterson, in Washington, D.C., Dec 10, Amir Khan, the junior welterweight double beltholder, did exactly that Tuesday.
At the official announcement in London, Eng, of his sixth title defense, the WBA and IBF titleholder found himself distracted by yet more talk of a future meeting with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
And once drawn on the subject, there was no stopping Khan (26-1, 18 knockouts) as he predicted that a year from now he would be ready to relieve Mayweather (42-0, 26 KOs) of his WBC welterweight title, while also taking a swipe at the way the undefeated American conducts himself within the sport.
“I want to go up there and clear up the division. Mayweather talks a lot of trash. He disrespects his fighters and disrespects presenters,” said the 24-year-old British star on Sky Sports News. “I’d never do that. I’m a humble guy. Boxing teaches you discipline and he should be a disciplined fighter. He should be the face of boxing in a good way, not a bad way.
“We’re taking it slow. We’re talking and Mayweather is keen to take the fight. It will be a huge fight. I think it’s about timing – and this time next year will be when the young fighter takes out the old, experienced guy.”
For that to happen, though, Khan, whose only loss came to Breidis Prescott in September 2008, must take care of business against Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs), the IBF mandatory junior welterweight challenger, in what will be the Bolton man’s last outing at 140 pounds.
“''I have ambitions and one of them is to fight Mayweather and beat him, but I have got Lamont Peterson to beat first,'' Khan said earlier in the day. “I know I have to focus on this one fight, because one mistake can change your life and I don't want that to happen.
“Before the Prescott fight I never trained that hard. I was only looking at the big names and the big fights. But you have to remember there are fighters you have to take on first, before you get those big fights, and I just didn't take it seriously then. I can't make that mistake again. I will be 100 per cent serious.
“After Lamont, I will move up to fight at 147 pounds, “ continued Khan. “I will have one more fight at 147 and then fight Floyd.”