Lem Satterfield

Amir Khan: Floyd Mayweather Jr. ‘is beatable’

VEGAS — Amir Khan says his speed, height and boxing ability would make it difficult for Floyd Mayweather Jr. if they were to fight. Khan called for the bout during Saturday's post-fight press conference following his near shutout victory over Luis Collazo.

Khan (29-3, 19 knockouts) scored three knockdowns on the way to a unanimous decision over Collazo (35-6, 18 KOs) at the MGM Grand. The England-born fighter of Pakistani descent seeks the coveted matchup with Mayweather, who scored a majority decision over Marcos Maidana in the main event on Saturday.

"The difference would be my speed. I'm quicker than Floyd Mayweather…He's getting a little older, now," said Khan, 27, who dropped Collazo once in the fourth and twice in the 10th, winning by scores of 117-106 and 119-104 (twice). "Floyd Mayweather is beatable, definitely…If you look at all of my fights, even the ones that I lost, no one can beat me at boxing. I've been giving master classes in boxing."

It had been more than a year since Khan had fought when he entered the ring opposite Collazo for his 147-pound debut against a career welterweight who had gone 6-1 with four knockouts in his previous seven bouts, and who was coming off January's second-round knockout of ex-beltholder Victor Ortiz.

Khan said he had been physically draining himself to make 140 pounds since way back in July 2011, when he stopped ex-beltholder Zab Judah in the fifth round of their IBF/WBA junior welterweight title unification bout. After defeating Judah, Khan lost his next fight by disputed split decision to current IBF 140-pound beltholder Lamont Peterson in December 2011 and was stopped in the fourth round in the following bout by RING, WBC and WBA junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia in July 2012.

Khan left trainer Freddie Roach in favor of Virgil Hunter for his next two fights, resulting in a 10th-round knockout over Carlos Molina, a California-based lightweight prospect, in December 2012. That was followed by a unanimous decision over former titleholder Julio Diaz, who dropped him in the fourth round in his last fight on April 27.

In addition to a unanimous decision victory over Maidana, whom he dropped in the first round in their bout in December 2010, Khan's resume boasts a technical decision victory over Mexican great Marcos Antonio Barrera as well as a TKO over two-division titlewinner Paulie Malignaggi and a decision over ex-beltholder Andriy Kotelnik. Khan earned major 140-pound belts by beating Kotelnik and Judah.

In addition to his loss to Garcia and the fact that he was dropped and badly hurt by Julio Diaz, Khan has endured lingering questions about his chin as a result of a 54-second KO loss to Breidis Prescott in September 2008.

But Khan performed impressively against Collazo amid questions about his chin as well as his ability to stay focused in order to execute game plan over the course of a 12-round fight.

"I had to be disciplined being that this was my first fight at this weight. I worked really hard on my strength and conditioning. You could see the power on my shots. Spending time in the gym with Virgil made me a lot more mature. I understand the sport of boxing," said Khan, who stands nearly 5-foot-10 to Mayweather's 5-8.

"Styles make fights. A fight with Floyd would be a boxing match. It would be skill versus skill. He's getting older, now. I think that it's time that he fight someone who isn't just moving just forward and heavy-handed. He's never fought anyone quite as explosive with my speed and height."

Khan said, however, on Thursday that Ramadan would prohibit him from fighting Mayweather Jr. on Mayweather's traditional September fight date.

Maidana represented the third fight of a six-bout deal with Showtime for Mayweather, who traditionally competes in May and September — the two Mexican holidays, Cinco de Mayo and Mexican Independence Day.

Ramadan dates generally shift from year-to-year based on the Islamic calendar. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, including a prohibition on drinking liquids.

"Ramadan is going to be right in the middle of the year, so I think that can affect a fight with Floyd, if we both get through on Saturday. I can't take that fight. I need a couple of months to work on my strength and conditioning," said Khan.

"If Floyd wants to fight in November sometime, if it can't be done in September, then I'm happy for November. If not, then it'll have to happen in the future. If it never happens, everyone will have to just think, 'What would have happened if I had fought Floyd?'"

 

Video by Daniel Morales

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