WBA/IBF junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan had plenty to say during Monday’s national conference call promoting his defense against Lamont Peterson on Dec. 10 at the Washington Convention Center in Peterson’s hometown of Washington, D.C.
Khan (26-1, 18 KOs), THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior welterweight, discussed his desire to face the magazine’s No. 2-rated pound-for-pound Floyd Mayweather Jr. (42-0, 26 KOs).
The former Olympic silver medalist addressed a rumored rift between himself and THE RING No. 1-rated pound-for-pound Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs), who, like Khan, is trained by five-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach out of the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.
Khan also revealed that he had words with 28-year-old former WBO and WBC junior welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) while attending Bradley’s eighth-round knockout of four-time titleholder Joel Casamayor on Nov. 12.
Of course, Khan also talked about the pursuit of his ninth straight win and his fifth stoppage during that run against Peterson (29-1-1, 15 KOs), whom Bradley dropped in the third round of their clash of unbeatens for a unanimous decision victory and the WBO belt in December of 2009.
Bradley was originally scheduled to face Khan on July 23, but he opted out and is now involved in a lawsuit with his co-promoters, Gary Shaw and Ken Thompson of Thompson Boxing Promotions. Bradley was legally advised that he could sign with Top Rank Inc., under which he debuted against Casamayor.
Peterson, meanwhile, has gone 2-0-1, since losing to Bradley, and is coming off a 12th-round knockout victory over Victor Cayo (27-2, 19 KOs) in July.
Amir Khan on Mayweather, Olympic-style drugtesting:
“One thing about me is that I get drug-tested with the British Board testers randomly. They can come to my house anytime and they can pop into the gym anytime.
“They’ve come to the gym twice unexpectedly, so we have to give them a test. So, you know, if that fight did come off, I’m happy to give them a test because I’m a clean fighter. That’s one thing about me.
“I’ve been to the Olympic games, so I’ve kind of experienced it myself. But, I’m sure that if that fight happened, we’d need a little more time to think about it instead of just moving into something so big.
“But first of all, I’ve got Lamont Peterson to look at, and I’ve got to get him out of the ring, and then, I can sit down with my team and see where we go from there.
“But if they put Floyd Mayweahter in front of me, I’ll be more than ready for Floyd Mayweather. But first of all, I’ve got Lamont Peterson to take care of.”
On his relationship with Pacquiao and whether or not they will ever fight:
“That fight will never happen. Manny knows that himself. We won’t fight each other. We have too much respect for each other. I remember when I moved to the Wild Card Gym.
“Manny was a big help, you know, bringing me back and helping me out with stuff in training. We’ve trained together. This camp, we didn’t spar together or anything because I have a different opponent.
“I’ve also been training a little bit later than Manny. But everything is cool. I think that it’s just rumors that people make up. Me and Manny are cool. I was with him in his room the day before he fought Marquez.
“I was having a chat with him and chilling out with him. I think that these are just rumors. People like to spread rumors and stuff. We just laugh about it really.”
On his run-in with Bradley:
“I said something like, ‘you ought to grow some balls,’ and, ‘you need to stand up and take the fight against me. He never looked at me again. I mean, he must have heard me.
“His team was behind him, I think that it was his father or his trainer who were there. They heard what I said. But at the end of the day, he stayed quiet, and I didn’t want to make myself look stupid.
“Because, at the end of the day, I think I’m the bigger draw in the division. I just wanted to make him realize and to make him know that, ‘look, I’m not scared.’
“And I’m the one who wants to fight and that he needs to man-up and to take the fight. We’ve got another name in front of me, and we’ve got Lamont Peterson to focus on.
“But if it happens or it doesn’t happen, I don’t care, because at the end of the day, I’m the one who offered the fight to Bradley, and the world knows that, and he refused it, so I’m just going to move on.”
On the potential move to 147:
“It just depends. We’ll see how things go after this fight. I was thinking about moving up to 147. But if the Bradley fight is still there for me, then it’s worth me staying at the 140 division.
“If not, then I’ll move up to 147. It’s not becuse I have trouble making the weight. I can make 140. It’s just that the challenges are not there. I need a new motivation.
“I need to be among different fighters and be among new names. That’s what’s driving me. Bradley might take the fight, but if not, then I’ll be moving up to 147.”
On where he would fight Bradley:
“I think that it would be better somewhere neutral, because at the end of the day, he can’t sell tickets in his own back yard, really.
“So, I’m not going to do him a favor fighting in his own place. Wherever Golden Boy will put the fight, I’m happy to fight there.”
On Peterson’s style:
“We are aware of everything that he does and we know exactly how he likes to fight. I think he said something like ‘Amir Khan can’t take a shot.’
“But he’s been down so many times, and he has been knocked down by guys who don’t even punch hard. I think that with my power and speed, I don’t think he can cope with that.
“But we’re not worrying about him. We know exactly what to do, and we’ve been training hard for this fight, and I always feel like a challenger.
“My job is to go into this fight and just win this fight, and that’s what I’ve been doing. I can’t wait.”
On Peterson’s power:
“Anybody that catches an opponent with the right shot, I mean, right on the button and in the right place, you’re going to put them down. That’s boxing.
“But we’re a lot smarter, and my defense is a lot better than it was before. To be honest with you, he can bring whatever he wants to the table. We’re ready for everything that he has.
“We always improve on my style for every fight, and we always change against every opponent. My last two opponents were southpaws, and this time, I’m fighting against an orthdox opponent.
“So we’ve changed a little bit with the footwork and the defense. What shots to throw and what not to throw. We’ve been working on new things and combinations and stuff that are going to work for me in this fight.
“My speed is going to be a factor in this fight. I can either make this fight tough or I can make it easy. We just have to stick to the gameplan and make it easy.”
Photo by Delane Rouse, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions.
Photo by Craig Bennett, Fightwire Images.
Photo by Delane Rouse, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com