Amir Khan, Virgil Hunter talk Mayweather and what might be next
With Floyd Mayweather’s decisive – albeit not very entertaining – victory over Marcos Maidana, the inquiry that the boxing world immediately has lobbed at the unbeaten fighter is “Who’s next?”
Of course, Manny Pacquiao is the name that anybody with a pulse wants to see face Mayweather next, but sitting out in the cold is none other than Amir Khan. Khan, who was the frontrunner for the Mayweather fight last May before getting nudged out by Marcos Maidana’s scintillating performance against Adrien Broner, was present at Mayweather’s rematch with Maidana. It could have very well been Khan’s fight, but it wasn’t to be as Ramadan prevented Khan from being available.
With Mayweather desperately searching for a new opponent should the Pacquiao fight not materialize (and who really sees that happening?), it looks like Khan could once again be the favorite to land the fight.
RingTV.com caught up with Khan’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, to get his take on what his fighter will do next. Unlike last December, when Khan pulled out of a fight with Devon Alexander in hopes of landing the Mayweather fight, Hunter says he plans to get Khan ready for a fight this coming December. Who he will fight remains up in the air as Hunter squashed a rumor that Josesito Lopez – who won a lackluster fight against Rafael Cobos last Thursday – was already penciled in as Khan’s opponent.
“Nobody has told me anything about Josesito Lopez,” Hunter said dismissively when asked. “I read it just like you probably did. Usually, if nobody has told me to my face, it’s just a rumor.”
As for a prospective fight with Mayweather, Hunter prefers to not even think about it considering how they were burned last time around. “Because we went through what we went through with trying to get the Mayweather fight, it makes no sense for us to even acknowledge it,” Hunter said. “You have to experience what we dealt with to understand where we are coming from. And it’s not going to be Khan’s next fight so we have to stay focused on whoever our next opponent is. If he doesn’t shine in his next fight, he can’t even talk about Mayweather. If Mayweather presents itself, I’m happy for him because it’s a fight he would like to have.”
But the British fighter did acknowledge a potential Mayweather fight after witnessing the No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer cruise to a decision victory. In fact, Khan would like the fight even more considering that he saw what he felt was age finally getting to Mayweather.
“I just don’t want the fight, I really believe I can beat Floyd Mayweather,” Khan said emphatically to a small group of journalists. “I just see him aging big time. He definitely won the fight but there were times where I was watching him and saw him look slower. The shots that Maidana caught him with he would have never have caught me with. His speed is still there but he’s not throwing combinations like he used to.”
Although Danny Garcia and Breidis Prescott have stopped Khan, he doesn’t feel that his chin would play a factor into a Mayweather fight.
“When it comes to a chess match, nobody can beat me,” Khan says while citing his speed, jab and technical savvy. “He doesn’t have that much power so I can definitely outbox him.”
But, as Hunter mentioned, Khan is well aware that he needs to impress in his next fight or else the mere thought of a Mayweather fight will evaporate. Who it will be is still up in there air.
“I’ve read some names such as Josesito Lopez, Robert Guerrero and Devon Alexander,” Khan said. “I just want to fight the best and I hope that will lead to a fight with Mayweather or even Manny Pacquiao.”