Amir Khan Says He Will Not Take The “Easy Route” As Champion

By James Slater - Amir Khan has hit back at those critics who say he is a world champion who will look to fight the safest opponents possible. Next up for the once-beaten 22-year-old who now holds the WBA light-welterweight title, is a mandatory defence against the unbeaten Jewish fighter from New York, Dmitriy Salita.

And, in talking to Sky Sports, Khan has said the fight against the Ukrainian proves he is more than willing to take on the best..

“It’s a huge fight,” Khan said of his upcoming December 5th bout. “I’m the world champion and Dmitriy wants to come and take that title. It’s going to be a tough fight and a long night but hopefully my game plan will work on the night.

“This is what people want to see, they want to see Amir Khan fight tough fighters. Salita is the mandatory challenger and we’re not taking the easy route, we’re taking the hard route.”

And while most fans see Khan as a huge favourite to defeat 27-year-old Salita, it’s a fight he had to take if he wanted to keep hold of his precious belt, which he won, of course, by putting on a near master class against Andreas kotelnik back in the summer.

Khan says he plans to take care of Salita, hopefully in exciting and impressive style, and then go on to unify the belts at 140-pounds.

“I want to fight mandatories,” Khan said. “I don’t want to take short cuts. I want to fight whoever is out there. When I turned pro my ambition was to be a world champion. I’ve achieved that and now my ambition is to unify the belts and be the best fighter in my weight division. These are the fights I need if I want to become the champion I want to be.”

Of course, the fighter who carries The Star of David emblem into the ring with him sees himself upsetting all of Khan’s big plans.

“I’m very excited, I’ve been number one contender for a very long time and I’m very confident,” Salita said.

So, will Khan proceed towards the greatness he feels he can reach? Or will Salita pull off the upset in Newcastle? Either way, December’s fight promises to be intriguing and hopefully it will be a fan-friendly affair as well.

For what it’s worth, I take Khan to win on points. There could be the odd scare for him along the way (for as long as he fights, there will be some concerns about Khan’s chin), but the champion will retain for the first time by a pretty wide UD.

Article posted on 16.10.2009

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