Former junior welterweight beltholder Amir Khan issued a statement on Wednesday in an attempt to dispel at least one report that he is considering a bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. rather than a deal to fight IBF welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander on Dec. 7.
“Team Khan would like to dispel recent reports that Amir Khan has pulled out of a potential match-up against Devon Alexander on December 7th, taking up a fight against Floyd Mayweather in May of next year instead,” read Khan’s statement.
“Contrary to this story, Amir Khan is currently in training camp in San Francisco with the aim of fighting again in December against Alexander once an agreement can be reached.”
Last month in Las Vegas, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said “we’re close” on a deal for Khan to face Alexander. Schaefer’s assertion was made following the post-fight press conference for Mayweather’s majority decision over Canelo Alvarez at the MGM Grand.
“I do not comment on rumors,” stated Schaefer in an e-mail to RingTV.com on Thursday. “Amir Khan’s statement speak for itself.”
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 Alexander, a former IBF and WBC junior welterweight beltholder.
Hunter said on Wednesday that Khan has been training at his No Cross, No Crown facility for “almost a month.”
“Amir is here with me. He’s been here almost a month, so he’s been here training,” Hunter said. “He’s training for whatever fight comes up. We’re not sitting around waiting for something to be signed. We’re training.”
Khan was stopped in 54 seconds by Breidis Prescott in September of 2008 before reeling off eight consecutive victories, four of them by stoppage. His resume includes unanimous decisions over ex-beltholder Andriy Kotelnik and Marcos Maidana, a technical decision victory over Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera, and knockouts of Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah.
Khan suffered consecutive losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia by split-decision and fourth-round knockout, respectively, prior to winning his past two bouts by 10th-round knockout and unanimous decision over Carlos Molina and former titleholder Julio Diaz.
In his last fight in May, Alexander (25-1, 14 KOs) scored a seventh-round stoppage of Lee Purdy that represented his fourth straight victory since falling to current WBO 147-pound beltholder Tim Bradley by 10th-round technical decision in January of 2011.
That run has included a split decision over Lucas Matthysse, as well as a unanimous decision over Maidana in his welterweight debut. Alexander dethroned hard-hitting Randall Bailey for the IBF belt in October of last year before facing Purdy, and has also knocked out former titleholders Juan Urango and Junior Witter, and decisioned ex-beltholders Kotelnik and DeMarcus “Chop Chop” Corley.
TIM BRADLEY: JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ IS BY FAR THE BEST FIGHTER I WILL HAVE FACED
In his last fight in March, WBO welterweight titleholder Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs) rose from a 12th-round knockdown to secure a unanimous decision over hard-punching Ruslan Provodnikov in defense of the belt he won by disputed split-decision over Manny Pacquiao in June.
Bradley deubuted as a 147-pounder with a unanimous decision over hammer-fisted Luis Carlos Abregu (35-1, 28 KOs), who has won five of his past six fights by stoppage since suffering his lone defeat to Bradley in July of 2010.
But when Bradley enters the ring on Oct. 12 against four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on HBO Pay Per View, the 30-year-old resident of Palm Springs, Calif., said he will be in against “”the best fighter I will have ever faced in my career, by far.”
“I want to be a part of M├írquez’s legacy, and by me beating M├írquez, that right there will make me one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world,” said Bradley during a conference call on Tuesday regarding Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs), who was last in the ring for a sixth-round knockout win over Pacquiao in December.
“No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, wherever you want to place me. M├írquez is probably the best fighter I will have ever faced in my career, by far. This fight on Oct. 12 is going to be a very tough fight, and I am game for war. I know M├írquez is, too. I know his trainer very well, and I know they are going to come out hard and try to take me out and take my title.”
WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO: ALEXANDER POVETKIN’S TRYING TO EMULATE MIKE TYSON
In advance of Saturday’s clash of Olympic gold medalists, RING, IBF, WBA and WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko (60-3, 51 KOs) was ringside for a recent workout by challenger Alexander Povetkin (26-0, 18 KOs), who was training under former Mike Tyson cornerman Stacy McKinley.
“I was ringside watching Alexander’s workout, and obviously, he didn’t show a lot. He’s probably having his own plan. He wants to give me some surprises. I think that Stacy McKinley, former Mike Tyson coach, tried anything possible to make Povetkin look like Tyson, punch like Tyson,” said Klitschko, in a statement provided by the promoter.
“I think it’s difficult to make all these in things [happen] in a couple of weeks, but Povetkin has been a fan of Mike Tyson. He said to me that he watched Tyson fights to copy his movements with his style and size and length of arms. I think that this style is good for him, especially in this fight, but we will see how it’s going to be on Saturday night.”
A 37-year-old Olympic gold medalist for Ukraine in 1996, Klitschko will meet Povetkin, a 34-year-old winner of Olympic gold for Russia in 2004, at Moscow’s indoor Olympic stadium.
“I think that this fight will be difficult for both of us. We both have chance and I have a lot of respect for Alexander,” said Klitschko. “Of course, I won’t overestimate him also. I will do everything to win. No predictions. In boxing anything can happen.”
Photo by Scott Heavey, Getty Images
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]