Amir Khan – Graham Earl: “It’s A Fifty-Fifty Fight”

06.12.07 - By Matthew Hurley: “This is the next step up for me and it’s going to take me to that next level.” So says British Commonwealth lightweight champion Amir Khan, 14-0 with 11 KOs who takes on Graham Earl, 25-2 with 12 KOs on December 8th at the Bolton Arena in Lancashire.

Khan, a former Olympic silver medalist, will turn twenty-one on the day of the fight and considers the former Commonwealth champion to be the sternest test of his rapidly progressing career..

“I’ve been sparring with bigger guys and doing a lot of strength work because I know Graham will be strong. He’s the number one lightweight in the country and I’m number two. I want to beat him and prove that I’m the best. I feel fit and I think I’m in the best shape ever. So I will be strong and sharp for this fight.”

Graham, from Luton, England, is hoping to resurrect his career after falling to the hard hitting Michael Katsidis in the fifth round back in February. He hasn’t fought since then and admits that a loss to Khan could put the brakes on his career. However he does feel that the lengthy rest period between the Katsidis brawl and his return to the ring on Saturday night has served him well.

“I’ve had time to reflect on it (the defeat) now,” he told the Sporting Life. “The fight with Katsidis has done me more good than harm. I had a good rest after it and reflected on what I needed to do to change. If I had thought I couldn’t change, I would have packed it in. He will be facing a top Graham Earl. There have been no shortcuts, so there will be no excuses.”

Khan last fought in October, stopping Scott Lawton in the fourth round and is hoping to position himself for a title shot in late 2008. His promoter Frank Warren has told Khan not to underestimate his opponent or he could find himself in a world of trouble.

“The fight will determine whether Amir is the future of boxing or not,” he remarked to the UK Mirror. “This is a serious step up in class for Amir and he’s taking on the number one lightweight in the country. Graham comes to fight and gives his all, but it’s a fight Amir wants. He says he wants to fight the best in the country so he’s got the best. Graham had Katsidis wobbling and anyone who saw that fight will know that he has a huge heart because he kept getting up. It’s certainly going to be a tough one for Amir. It’s a fifty-fifty fight. It really is.”

Article posted on 06.12.2007

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