Angry Andriy Kotelnik Says He'll KO Amir Khan In June

by James Slater - Ukrainian Andriy Kotelnik, the reigning WBA light-welterweight champion, is in a pretty bad mood right about now. Scheduled to fly into the UK for a press conference today to hype his upcoming June 27th title defence against 22-year-old Amir Khan, the 31-year-old was not allowed into the country due to a problem with his visa..

The fact that he was not allowed access into the UK also annoyed Frank Warren, who will, of course, promote the June battle at The O2 Arena in London. With only Khan showing up to talk up the fight, Warren may have seen a number of potential ticket sales go out the window. However, Kotelnik did manage to get a few quotes out from Germany, where he is currently staying.

In a pretty foul mood, the WBA champ said he would take out his anger on fellow Olympian Khan.

"I will knock out Amir Khan on June 27th as I am so annoyed right now," Kotelnik said. "Khan is a good ambitious fighter but I am a world champion and I will show my class against this child. Khan, like me, has won a silver medal at the Olympics and we were beaten by the great Mario Kindelan. But that is where the similarity ends."

Needles to say, Khan said he is hugely up and confident ahead of his first crack at a world title, and that he will use his advantages in speed to get the win and take the WBA belt.

"I am confident I can do a job on him," Khan said. "I have got fast feet and fast hands and if I box him cleverly, I think I can make it an easy night and a night I can become world champion. The Olympics have been the biggest thing for me up until now - but this would be bigger. When I was a kid I always wanted to be a world champion."

Judging by the champion's comments, Kotelnik feels Khan is still a kid. Kotelnik is definitely the far more experienced fighter of the two, that's for sure, and he may be stronger, both physically and mentally. Khan spoke about the former world champions he hopes to emulate by upsetting the 31-year-old, while also claiming he has improved greatly since his KO loss to Breidis Prescott.

"I watched Ali, Prince Naseem Hamed, Ricky Hatton win world titles, and I wanted to achieve what they achieved," Khan said. "So much has changed since that defeat [to Prescott]. I changed from a boy into a man. There were times when I would just go into the ring and fight but the Prescott defeat taught me in the right way. Things happen for a reason.

"I have changed do much since that defeat. I fought Oisin Fagan and then beat Marco Antonio Barrera. People said Barrera got cut but I always knew I had the skills to beat him."

Hopefully, Kotelnik's visa troubles will be all sorted out well before June, and the fight will go ahead as scheduled. Then, Khan will get the chance to really show his skills.

Article posted on 23.04.2009

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