by James Slater – It will all be made academic if the unbeaten Dmitriy Salita does what he feels he will and manages to upset Amir Khan in their WBA light-welterweight title fight this coming Saturday, but 22-year-old Amir Khan has made it clear he wants to make his U.S debut in his next fight after his first title defence.
Khan’s has wanted to make a name for himself in America for a long time now, and apparently the British star feels now is the time. Also, according to a news article that has appeared on People.co.uk, Khan could fight Mexican great Juan Manuel Marquez next year – pushing Ricky Hatton to one side.. As has been previously reported, Hatton, inactive since his crushing 2nd-round KO loss at the hands of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao, is in talks with Marquez about taking him on next summer. But could Khan land the fight instead?
“He [Marquez] is made for my style,” Khan said. “And if I beat him people will start knowing who Amir Khan is in the United States. It’d be tough for Ricky Hatton to come straight back to fight Marquez, but god luck to him.”
If Khan were able to secure the Marquez fight, it would likely anger Hatton. It’s still nothing but talk at this time, and of course Khan must first take care of mandatory challenger Salita (who, interestingly, told Steve Bunce in a Mirror article that Khan could be “one of his easiest fights”), but Khan-Marquez would be a most interesting fight.
To my mind, both Hatton and Khan would be underdogs against the superb Mexican, but Khan, as fast as he is and as well conditioned as he is, would have more of a chance than would the currently out of shape “Hitman.”
Khan has also said he won’t make what he feels was the same mistake his fellow Brits, Joe Calzaghe and Hatton made, and leave it too late before fighting in America.
“I don’t want to go to fight in America too late,” Khan said. “Joe Calzaghe and Ricky Hatton left it a bit late. I want to follow in Manny Pacquiao’s footsteps.”
Khan, 21-1(15) has a long, long way to go before he can even be mentioned as being in the same league as Pacquiao, who he trains with at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card gym, of course, but if he can get past Salita, there could be some big fights for the former Olympian next year. Also still something of a possibility, if a relative long shot, is a fight between Khan and Hatton.
If Khan were to “steal” the Marquez fight from the former 140-pound champion, maybe Hatton would find sufficient motivation to want to fight Khan instead?