Amir Khan knows better than to dismiss lightly the threat posed by Zab Judah in their light-welterweight unification fight in Las Vegas on 23 July, but he finds it hard to contain his excitement about the ultimate test of his pedigree against Floyd Mayweather” Jr next year.
In a business of few certainties, that fight is less of an outlandish proposition than it might have been a year ago, given the willingness of the American’s connections to talk it up ahead of Mayweather’s return to the ring against Victor Ortiz in Las Vegas on 17 September.
“I’ve always said I want to fight the best,” Khan said. “It’s a great time to have these fights [against Judah and possibly Britain’s Kell Brook] and then fight Floyd Mayweather. I know I’ve got the skills. I’m sure we can do it, and I’ll be happy to go up to welterweight.”
As for Judah, the 33-year-old New Yorker brings skills and brashness to the promotion at the Mandalay Bay Casino. “He’s very dangerous,” Khan said of Judah, who has been making as much noise in his adopted Vegas as David Haye did before losing to Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg two weekends ago.
And Khan is keen to avoid the trash-talking lead-up that turned that heavyweight bout into a contest that could never live up to its billing, and embarrassed the loser. “I’m not knocking David, he’s a great fighter. But I think a lot of people were upset with his performance. Styles make fights, and he was awkward for David.”
Khan revealed a late-night musing this week convinced him to hold on to his low-key philosophy. “I’ve just made a promise in life,” he tweeted on Monday night. “Something I’ll always stick to.”
Yesterday he explained: “It was about training hard, staying focused. You learn off people like David Haye, and other fighters, what they do. But one thing about me, I don’t want to go into a fight and talk a lot. I’m more a fighter who just goes in there and takes care of business. David’s a good friend of mine, but I’d never want to be in that position because you just put extra pressure on yourself.
“David [trash-talked] and he got great [pay-per-view hits] and it made him a lot of money. I was speaking to him the day after the fight. He’s still young and could come back. I think he still wants to do this. He brings excitement, that’s David Haye, that’s why we all love him.”