Andreas Kotelnik says he will be fighting for his fellow countrymen when he takes on Amir Khan on June 27 at London’s O2 Arena. The Ukrainian drew inspiration from a visit to his nation’s embassy in Holland Park, London, during a whistle-stop tour of the capital yesterday. After meeting the ambassador and signing autographs for star-struck embassy staff who posed with his WBA world title, the 31-year-old warned Khan that he would retain his light-welterweight crown in a month’s time. “There is pressure on me because so many people back home want me to win, but it’s an inspiration as well,” said former Olympic silver medallist Kotelnik..
“There is a big Ukrainian population in London, and I know they will be coming to support me at the O2 Arena, while millions will be watching back home.
“Amir Khan is a good young fighter, but he has bitten off more than he can chew.
“I have very fond memories of the UK, and it was here that I won my WBA title when I knocked out Gavin Rees last year.
“I have got no problems in coming back to defend it, and I am looking forward to the fight against Khan.
“People keep asking me if I am going to lose, but my answer to them is come to the fight on June 27, and at the end of the night we will see who will be going home with the world title, and it won’t be Amir Khan.”
Ambassador Ihor Kharchenko said: “We are very proud to have such a wonderful world champion in Andreas Kotelnik.
“I haven’t been to a boxing show for 30 years, but I think June 27 is a good time to start going again!”
Kotelnik, who was also in the west end to help promote the fight, added: “I have prepared for 12 hard rounds, and Amir Khan is going to be in for a nasty surprise.”
BURNS TO SAVE BOYLE!
Commonwealth super-featherweight champion Ricky Burns has jumped to the aid of fellow Scot Susan Boyle and told her not to quit Britain’s Got Talent.
Burns has offered to break his training camp and jet to London to instill some fighting spirit in the Hairy Angel.
The 26-year-old from Coatbridge is due to face Kevin O’Hara in a defence of his title at the Bellahouston Sports Centre, Glasgow, on June 19 live on Sky Sports.
But he says he’ll put his country first to help out Boyle, who has been feeling the pressure ahead of the Britain’s Got Talent final on Saturday night.
“I’m a massive fan of BGT and have been watching it every night this week when I get home from the gym,” said slick Rick.
“Susan has become a sensation and I was so pleased for her when she got to the final.
“But I’ve been reading in the newspapers that she might pull out – and no one in Scotland wants to see that.
“I can understand what she’s going through because I feel the nerves before big fights.
“I always find that a work out is great for calming me down – and I’m sure it will be the same for Susan.
“I’ll go down to London with my coach Billy Nelson, and she can pull on a pair of my boxing gloves and take out all her frustrations on the pads.
“That will set her up nicely for Saturday’s final – and there will be no stopping her.
“And after she’s won BGT, she can come along and sing the Scottish national anthem at my fight with Kevin O’Hara.”