Amir Khan: ‘I’m not seeing Samuel Vargas as another Phil Lo Greco’
We need a fight this time.
In April, former unified junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan returned to action following a two-year layoff to batter the hapless Phil Lo Greco to pieces in just 39 seconds. Khan’s ring walk took longer than the fight. Hell, the announcer took longer to read his place of birth, weight and ring record.
This Saturday, Khan takes on Columbian boxer-puncher Samuel Vargas in Birmingham, England, over 12 rounds at welterweight. Like Lo Greco, Vargas sports an impressive enough record in terms of numbers (29-3-2, 14 knockouts), but, in a nine-year professional career, he has yet to defeat a distinguished opponent. Reigning IBF titleholder Errol Spence stopped him in four and former two-weight world titleholder Danny Garcia stopped him in seven.
Regardless, Khan, who is now being trained by acclaimed coach Joe Goossen, promises that he has left no stone unturned in terms of preparation.
“It’s been a tough training camp,” said the ex-champion. “I’ve spent round about 10 weeks in Los Angeles and it’s the first time that me and Joe have spent a full camp together. We’re going to be ready for this fight, and I’m glad the team on my left (Team Vargas) is talking and they’re confident. They’re making the fight more exciting.
“I’ve sparred with some really tough fighters that are probably better than my opponent. When I get in the ring I’m going to give Birmingham a great fight and I’m going to do what I do best. We never go into a fight looking for a knockout. We never go into a fight throwing big bombs. If it happens it happens. If I see an opening I’m going to take it.
“I know I’ve got everything it takes to win this fight. I’m not seeing Vargas as another Lo Greco. They might be from the same country but that doesn’t mean anything. I’ve trained like this is a world title fight because I know where this can take me.”
Vargas, who is coming off a 10-round majority draw against Mauro Godoy, is at least talking a good game.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that I will be victorious on Saturday night,” said the visitor. “I don’t care how I do it. I don’t care if it’s by knockout, or if it goes the distance, or if I break his ribs. In my heart, I think it, I dream it, I pray about it and I’ll win. I think Amir is an old man and he’s over the hill. I think he’s been damaged a lot and he knows that if I touch him, he’s going to get hurt. If I clip him with something, he will get hurt.”
On the undercard Jason Welborn defends his British middleweight title against Tommy Langford. Sam Eggington, Lewis Ritson, Ryan Kelly, Scott Fitzgerald, Qais Ashfaq, Gamal Yafai and Kelcie Ball will also see action.
The show will be broadcaast in the U.K. on Sky Sports Action from 7.00 p.m. local time and will also be streamed live on the DAZN Facebook and Twitter pages in the U.S.
Quotes courtesy of Matchroom Boxing
Tom Gray is Associate Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing
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