Amir Khan Says He Might Go For The European Title After He Defeats Barrera
by James Slater - Amir Khan believes, quire rightly, that a win over Marco Antonio Barrera next Saturday will open up massive doors for him at title level - either at European or even at world level. Indeed, in an interview with The Bolton News, the 22-year-old has spoken about what he may do if and when (he, of course, believes it will be when) he beats the Mexican legend in just over a week's time.
Article posted on 07.03.2009
And what Khan had to say will not in any way, shape or form please fellow British lightweight Jon "Jono" Thaxton. In the interview, Khan said he may well go for the European 135-pound belt - now held by Frenchman Anthony Mezaache, who controversially took it from Thaxton last week - in his next fight after Barrera.. With this news, does Thaxton, who has claimed for months if not years that Khan has avoided him, have the right to feel livid? It's likely the 34-year-old will be angry with Khan now saying he has interest in the European championshp - why then, did he not fight Thaxton when he had the belt?
In the interview, however, Khan says it was Thaxton who didn't want to fight him.
"This fight [against Barrera] has put me right back up there," Khan said. I can answer all the critics, change everyone's view and put myself in line for a mandatory shot at the world title. If I win there are a lot of options for me - including the European title now that Jon Thaxton has lost it, as he wouldn't fight me.
"If I could win that, it would prove to people that is what I would have done to Thaxton, but first I have this fight to get over with."
Khan's comments regarding the Thaxton fight never coming off are almost certain to divide the two men's fans. Thaxton maintains and always did maintain that he was desperate and 100-percent willing to face Khan in defence of his 135-pound EBU belt - yet now Khan says different. One can't help but feel as though this is a slap in the face for the gutsy southpaw. Not only has he just lost his treasured belt, but he also has to listen to how the young upstart he says avoided him may well get the chance to pick it up later this year! Yes, I'm pretty sure Thaxton will be angry if he reads what Khan has had to say.
But, being the hugely marketable fighter that he is at the moment - the crushing loss to Breidis Prescott aside - Khan finds himself getting a huge fight with Barrera - the type of fight Thaxton could only dream about.
Amir spoke about his big March 14th gamble.
"If I had won the fight against Prescott this fight might not have taken place," Khan said. "But now I need it more than Barrera. I have a lot to prove and instead of proving it in three or four fights I can prove it in just one fight.
"I have learned a lot from previous fights. The defeat was a wake-up call and has changed so much of my life."
Could it be Khan Vs. Mezaache later this year if the former Olympian wins the huge gamble he takes next Saturday?
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