Calling the English-born Pakastani “a young, strong champion” who, “every time out…comes and fights” during an interview on HustleBoss.com, Mayweather said of Khan, “If he is the guy, then he’s the guy.
“Amir Khan, I think he’s a young, strong champion. I call all these guys champions,” said Mayweather. “I call them champions because even when they get knocked down they get back up and give it their best.”
Having turned 27 on Dec. 8, Khan (28-3, 19 knockouts) would be looking for his third straight victory in as many fights under new trainer Virgil Hunter if he were to challenge Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs), who will turn 37 in February and who is also THE RING and WBC welterweight champion.
“I really don’t know too much about Amir Khan, but I do know, every time out, the guy comes and fights,” said Mayweather. “If he is the guy, then he’s the guy. There’s nothing I can do but go out there and execute the game plan and dedicate myself to my craft, which is boxing.”
Although he has yet to compete as a true 147-pounder, Khan’s resume includes unanimous decisions over Marcos Maidana and former world titleholder Andrey Kotelnik, a technical decision victory over Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera and knockouts of Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah.
In his past two bouts, Khan won by 10th-round knockout over Carlos Molina (not to be confused with the IBF junior middleweight titleholder of the same name) and by unanimous decision over former titleholder Julio Diaz.
Khan was stopped in 54 seconds by Breidis Prescott in September of 2008 before reeling off eight consecutive victories, four of them by stoppage. Khan suffered consecutive losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia by split-decision and fourth-round knockout, respectively, prior to facing Molina.
Asked directly whether he anticipated signing a deal and being named as Mayweather’s opponent, Khan said, “I swear to God, I’ve left that up to Golden Boy,” adding, “I just told them, ‘Yes, I would fight him,’ and left it up to Golden Boy to maybe get it done.”
“I would tell you what, I wish that I could get an answer from them because I’m in the same boat as you guys. I don’t know myself. At the end of the day, Floyd Mayweather’s the boss, and he is going to announce who he’s going to fight,” said Khan.
“I understand that he might do it this week. Let’s see. At the end of the day, styles make fights… I think that there’s a 60 percent chance that it could happen, at the end of the day.”
“I never know who I’m going to fight. I leave that up to my team. My team comes up with the guy, and I go with the game plan,” said Mayweather. “Whoever it’s going to be, I truly believe we’re going to do good numbers, because once it gets to this level it’s a business.”
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org