Khan targeting Mayweather showdown

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Published: Friday 12th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Amir Khan has conceded that the spectre of Floyd Mayweather will never be far from his mind when he steps in the ring for his welterweight showdown with Devon Alexander in Las Vegas in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Khan has spent the majority of the pre-fight build-up insisting he is only concerned with the immediate threat posed by the former IBF champion and that there remain plenty of other options in the 147lbs division.

But the 28-year-old Bolton native betrayed his true concerns when questioned over his ability to see off Alexander in explosive enough style to make the prospect of a future showdown with the self-styled ‘Pretty Boy’ a reality.

Khan said: “I want the boxing fans around the world to demand a fight between me and Floyd – I want them to demand it when they see Amir Khan in such a good fight.

“They’re going to be like, ‘wow, he should fight Mayweather’. I don’t just want it to happen, I want people demanding it. It’s going to be a tough fight but I don’t just want to win it, I want to win it in style.”

Time will determine the extent of the mistake Khan made a year ago when he pulled out of a prospective showdown with the then IBF champion in the mistaken belief he had already landed a dream Mayweather bout.

Instead Mayweather chose to face former Khan foe Marcos Maidana, leaving Khan out in the cold, and he spent a 14-month absence from the ring before returning to outpoint Luis Collazo in May.

The prize for beating Alexander could be huge, and Khan insists his work with trainer Virgil Hunter has helped blend his natural inclination to attack with a more measured approach that should serve him well.

“I’m still going to be the fighter that I’ve always been but I’m just going to be smarter,” added Khan. “When I put an attack together there has got to be a reason for it.

“You can be exciting and come forward and throw a lot of punches, but be careful at the same time. That’s what Virgil has brought to the table – he has made me a fighter who understands everything I have to do in the ring.”

Despite Khan’s workmanlike win over Collazo there remain questions over his ability to cope at the higher weight, having previously flapped to an unconvincing points win over an ageing Julio Diaz in Sheffield in April 2013.

Alexander lost his title to fellow American Shawn Porter a year ago but also has much to prove despite a good enough comeback win over Jesus Soto Karass in June.

Alexander echoed Khan’s sentiments when he said: “I definitely need to win and I want to look good doing it.

“I think a lot of people are going to be looking at this fight and saying, ‘this is the future of the welterweights’. I’ve got to pull out all the stops for this fight and go out there and just be me.”

Published: Friday 12th December 2014 by The News Editor

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