Boxing


Amir Khan Aims To Be A Pound-For-Pound Entrant By The Age Of 24

by James Slater - Ricky Hatton may have failed in quite spectacular fashion when it came to his quest to reach the upper echelon of boxing's pound-for-pound ratings, but another British boxer in Amir Khan now has his sights set on entering the illustrious rankings, and soon. Facing Andriy Kotelnik for the Ukrainian's WBA 140-pound title in June, Khan says the win he is sure he will get will lead him to bigger and better things. The former Olympian, 22, also says his new trainer, Freddie Roach, will turn him into a pound-for-pound fighter by the time he is 24 years of age..

Ambition is not something that is at all lacking when it comes to the man who rebuilt his Bredis Prescott-ruined career by defeating the once great Marco Antonio Barrera last time out. And Khan says all credit for his improvement must go to Roach and his famous Wild Card gym.

"I think I have improved by a big 20-percent probably over the last 12 months," Khan told Reuters. "I have especially improved my defence and my patience. Now I am staying nice and cool in fights, watching everything that is going on and following the right shots at the right time.

"I've got the best team around me. I've got Freddie Roach and The Wild Card gym. I think I've done my time now and I'm going to win this fight (against Kotelnik in June) hopefully and it will take me to bigger and better things. Freddie said to me that within two years, when I hit my peak at 24, he will have made me a machine. I will be a machine where no-one will touch me and I will be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world."

These are big words from Khan, without a doubt. However, after the predictions he has been making just recently, and after he's been proven to have been spot on with them, it would be foolish to dismiss anything Freddie Roach says will happen ever again. And if Roach - one of the finest boxing trainers of his era without question - says Khan will be moulded into a pound-for-pound entrant, then I'm not going to argue with him.

The next huge test for Khan - very possibly the biggest test of his career thus far - comes next month against fellow former Olympian Kotelnik.

Khan concedes the fact that Kotelnik is a great fighter, but he says his speed will be too much for the 31-year-old.

"It's going to be a tough fight for me, and it's not going to be as easy for me as the bookies have it," Khan said. "When someone has got a world title, he wants to keep hold of that. He's [Kotelnik] got great defence. He's very accurate and he controls his shots. Plus his fitness is very good."

When asked what will beat Kotelnik, Khan spoke of his best asset in the ring:

"My speed," he said. "I don't think he will have faced or sparred with anyone as fast as me."

Barrera certainly had big problems with Khan's speed, but will Kotelnik?

Article posted on 05.05.2009



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