Amir Khan seeks ‘legend’ status by beating Terence Crawford, Kell Brook ‘a four-five round job’
Amir Khan said he was drawn to the April 20 clash with Terence Crawford because it’s a ‘legacy fight.’
The Bolton man, who shot to fame with a dazzling silver in the 2004 Athens Olympics, is nearing the end of his boxing roller coaster and he sees Crawford as the most realistic chance of getting in the pound for pound argument after years of waiting around for Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao failed to result in a superfight.
He also opted to take less money for Crawford than he would have made for entertaining domestic rival Kell Brook.
“I’m not saying that I was going to get double for fighting Brook,” Khan said. “There’s still a lot of money on the table for this fight as well. There’s not much in it, really. People can say what they want, Eddie [Hearn]’s going to make it out like it’s double, but it’s nowhere near double. At the end of the day it’s a lot of money, it’s got a world title on the line, it’s a bigger fight. Maybe financially it’s not as big as Kell Brook, but it’s a bigger fight in the world, globally. There’s a world title on the line, he’s pound for pound one of the best fighters and a win would take me on to a different level. This is a fight where I can prove I can be a legend in the sport. The easy option is Brook. Brook would be a four-five round job, it would be. Winning this fight, you’d be a legend in the sport, for sure.”
He also does not have a great deal to lose. Expectations are not high for Khan, who is hooking back up with trainer Virgil Hunter for this one. They will have a 12-week camp for Crawford.
“Being an underdog is a great feeling because the pressure’s not there,” Khan went on. “I’m going to go in there and fight to best of my ability and do what I do best. I got a phone call from his [Crawford’s] team and they said, ‘Would you be interested?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, why not?’ It was more appealing [than Brook] so I thought, ‘Yeah, that’s the fight I want.’ I tried to get him over here but they said no, U.S. It will be nice to go back to the U.S. and do that fight and look, styles make fights. This is a good stylistic fight. I’m not going to go into this fight and have my hands down. I’m going to be very smart, I can’t make any mistakes. Against people like [Phil] Lo Greco and [Sammy] Vargas you can’t motivate yourself. In this fight especially I am going to motivate myself because I know that I can’t make any mistakes. I’m fighting someone that can make me a superstar if I beat him.”
Yet he does not think Crawford is the best he has met, that position is – for now – reserved for Saul Alvarez.
“I think Canelo is the best boxer I’ve faced and when it comes to boxing skills I think maybe skill-wise he [Crawford] is one of the better fighters but I think Canelo overall is the better fighter, stronger, knew how to cut the ring better. I just feel whatever Crawford brings to the table I will have answers for because he’s more my weight and it’s a more natural fight.”
Khan had to move up to face Canelo and he is unbeaten at 147 pounds.
And he says the Brook fight might still happen. Top Rank have not taken options on Khan, who will be a promotional free agent after April 20 as it’s the final outing in a three-bout deal with Matchroom. However, Khan reckons he will resign with the Essex powerhouse.
“I love working with Matchroom, I think they’re doing a great job,” he explained. “They let me have the fights I want so I think it’s brilliant. At the end of the day, I’m going to sit down with my team and see what’s best for us and we will take it from there. I might as well finish my career off with them, if I want to finish my career off in the U.K., then why not? I don’t mind. I think Eddie’s doing a great job, he might be a little pissed off if I’m not fighting Brook but at the end of the day it’s business, it’s what I want and what way I want to go.”
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