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AMIR KHAN: "I'LL GET THAT FIGHT BEFORE MANNY...MAYWEATHER HAS AGREED TO FIGHT ME"

By Brad Jones | October 05, 2011
AMIR KHAN:

"Most of these guys are veterans. They have been at the top for a long time and become used to being there and maybe take it for granted. They lack the hunger we have. They've been there, they've made the money, and they have held the belts. We want to be in their position. Mayweather don't have my hunger...I'll get that fight before Manny. Mayweather's scared to fight Pacquiao. Floyd Mayweather has agreed to fight me...but we can't look that far ahead. I got to get past Peterson, then maybe my 2nd or 3rd fight at 147 could be against Floyd, even though he makes excuses about me being a good prospect and to fight Jessie Vargas, who I in fact watched while at the Primetime studios and he didn't show that he wants or deserves to fight me. Brad, did you see how much punishment he took? I honestly felt sorry for him. Even if I fought him, I wouldn't want to spoil his career. You don't do that to guys like that; you don't put him in with guys like me," stated jr. welterweight champion Amir Khan, who is confident that he'll be next in line to face undefeated pound-for-pound champion Floyd Mayweather. In this in-depth interview, check out what else Khan has to say as he speaks candidly about Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and much more.

BJ: What is it that separates you from other fighters in and around the division?

AK: Not a lot of fighters, except me and maybe Ortiz, are young and have that real hunger; only I have the skill and the composure as well. We're young, we're hungry, we want to get to the top. Most of these guys are veterans. They have been at the top for a long time and become used to being there and maybe take it for granted. They lack the hunger we have. They've been there, they've made the money, and they have held the belts. We want to be in their position. Mayweather don't have my hunger.

BJ: Ever since moving up to 140, you seem like a different fighter.

AK: I feel so good at 140; totally different than at 135. You seen what Prescott did to me. At 147, I'm gonna be even better, and one day, even at 154 when I mature. I was speaking to Ortiz, I was like, "What do you walk around at?" He was like, "I walk like, man, I walk around at 168." I was like, "You got to lose 28 pounds before a fight," so weight makes so much difference now. He's at 147; weight is a big deal.

BJ: What's your take on Floyd Mayweather outside of the ring?

AK: Yeah, in front of the camera, he may be bit flash, a bit arrogant, and even over the top, Brad, but I've met him in the mall in Vegas, met him in England as well, and he's the nicest guy ever. He wished me luck; gave me a hug. We talked about boxing and how he is. I even asked for a photo, as I'm a big fan myself (laughing), and he was more than happy to take a photo, so that just tells you what type of person he is. It's just a character and an alter-ego. He's really a genuine nice guy.

BJ: Serious?

AK: Yeah, yeah. He may have all the money in the world, but he knows he's blessed, he knows he's god-gifted, so ya know, like I said, in front of the camera, he's gonna do what he's got to do for people to like him or hate him. Whether they love him or hate him, they still all pay to watch him and that's his goal. I mean, if he was boring in front of camera, people would not pay to watch him. 80% of the American public who watch him fight are watching to see him get beat. They genuinely want to see him lose, but bottom line is, they are paying to see him fight, so I don't think he cares either way. For instance, look at Martinez. He's one of the best fighters out there, hands down, right? Well, nobody really knows who he is except hardcode boxing fans. He does not have or show his personality, so we aren't gonna pay to watch him, especially if he fights someone nobody knows, whereas Mayweather could fight anyone and you would pay to see it. It does not matter; it's a Mayweather fight.

BJ: I know you're Team Pacquiao, but who wins Amir, honestly, Mayweather or Pacquiao?

AK: I knew this was coming (laughing). Someone asked me this the other day. Mayweather's defense is so much better, but I say Manny's attack is better. It's so hard. It could be one of the most exiting fights ever, or it could be one of the most boring fights out there. 'Cause of the names and what's on the line, it won't be like a heavyweight fight. It's too big of an event to be boring like that. It will be exciting, but I would not put money on it. But with Freddie in the corner, he can make Manny adapt to any situation. He's come off the canvas bleeding and been in some wars, but has Mayweather? He has not been through anything like that. Okay, he got caught by Mosley and did amazingly well to dominate him, but that's one punch. What about the 4, 5, 6, 7 shots that Manny throws? So I think Manny has the edge.

BJ: You said you saw a lot of weakness in Floyd Mayweather in his last fight.

AK: Yeah, that's what we saw, quite a few weaknesses. He was getting hit more often. It's like he's great defensively, but he has been very aggressive in his last two fights, so if you takes risks, you get hit. He was open more often. I don't even think he was in trouble, but Ortiz landed a few more than often. Like I said, similar to me against Maidana, I came out aggressive, which was our game plan. Nobody expected it. The best form of defense is to attack, so we took it too him, but with that, when you're walking a guy down, you may take more shots. The Mayweather-Ortiz fight was more entertaining than usual for Floyd, but he took more risks, so you are gonna get hit once or twice; even Floyd.

BJ: Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather, who's the pound-for-pound champ now?

AK: Definitely Manny Pacquiao. If Mayweather would have beat Ortiz the proper way and KO'd him fair and square, maybe Floyd would be pound for pound the best, but yeah, he's been inactive. It's 'cause he has not fought. If he knocked Ortiz out fair and square, fair enough, 'cause the only guy to do that is Maidana, even though Ortiz quit. He ain't been knocked out cold. Ortiz has dropped every one of his opponents, but Manny makes all his fights look easy. I'll be honest, he's too fast and too powerful. I've learned a lot from him. He's going in the right way to become an all-time great. What he did to Hatton, to De la Hoya; he done a better job than Mayweather did.

BJ: Yeah, you could say that, but Mayweather beat them first, and when Hatton was undefeated and Oscar was as his proper weight.

AK: Yeah, that's true, but I mean Floyd was in a close decision with Oscar. Manny completely dominated that fight. Yeah, maybe weight played a small factor, but Manny is more powerful and takes more risks to go for the stoppage.

BJ: What your take on people saying Pacquiao fights Mayweather's leftovers?

AK: Yeah, okay, he fights leftovers 'cause, yeah, Floyd has already beaten them, but if there's no one left out there to fight, what is he to do? I've had problems myself trying to fight Bradley. Manny has had the same problem. A lot of people wait for a Pacquiao or Mayweather payday fight, so they don't wanna fight me, and a lot of them don't want to lose to Manny. It's hard to say with Pacquiao. He's gonna beat anyone in front of him. It's not Manny's choice who he fights. They put a list of 3-4 guys in front of him and he takes the best deal. You have to remember, he has got to fill arenas out and someone has to  bring the crowd in. Shane is a legend, Cotto brings the Puerto Rican fans, Margarito and Marquez bring the huge Mexican fan base; I mean, look at the Marquez-Pacquiao presser now. 20-30,000 people were there. That's Mexican fans for ya. Manny could have fought Berto, but more people watch and know Marquez. There's more money involved and he's a pay-per-view attraction.

BJ: Talk to us about the southpaw stance that people make a big deal about and the idea that Floyd struggles with them.

AK: Yeah, a lot of people, mainly non-boxing fans, come out with this crap. It don't matter whether you're good at fighting them or not; you're gonna get prepared well for them.

BJ: Yeah, and a great fighter like Floyd makes the adjustment.

Ak: Right, right. Yeah, exactly, exactly. I mean, all fighters have what 6 weeks of sparring southpaws non-stop, maybe do 100 rounds, and the sparring partners are there to imitate the style of your opponent, so it's not really a problem at this level, especially for a guy like Floyd.

BJ: Who gets the Mayweather fight first, you or Manny?

AK: I think I'll get that fight before Manny. Mayweather's scared to fight Pacquiao. Floyd Mayweather has agreed to fight me.

BJ: He has?

AK: Yeah, but we can't look that far ahead. I got to get past Peterson, then maybe my 2nd or 3rd fight at 147 could be against Floyd, even though he makes excuses about me being a good prospect and to fight Jessie Vargas, who I in fact watched while at the Primetime studios and he didn't show that he wants or deserves to fight me. Brad, did you see how much punishment he took? I honestly felt sorry for him. Even if I fought him, I wouldn't want to spoil his career. You don't do that to guys like that; you don't put him in with guys like me.

BJ: Richard Schaefer was recently talking about putting together a welterweight tournament. Have you heard anything about that?

AK: No, not heard much about it, but look at the Super Six. It's huge, but it drags, so not for me. You have to wait a couple of years to see the final. I wanna fight in the UK again soon. The fight against Paul Mccloskey was amazing. There was so many Irish fans there. The only big names in the UK are Kell Brook and Mathew Hatton. Mathew is a nice guy, a lovely guy; met him a few times, love the guy. He's a really good boxer, a warrior; he showed what he's made of against one of the best guys in Alverez, who thought it would be a pushover, but it wasn't. If he gets a title at welterweight, then yeah, it would make sense and be a good fight for England, especially Manchester, and for me. Kell Brook, he's not fought anyone to be honest with you. Hatton has fought better opposition. He's [Brook] not fought one good guy or one guy I've heard of. My 26th fight, I fought guys like Maidana, topping the bill in Vegas. They say Kell is the next superstar and the guy to beat Amir Khan, but come on. What is he doing? He's fighting some old guy who's got 9 loses in a 1,000 seater in Sheffield.

BJ: So what's holding that fight up?

AK: I mean, Eddie Hearn. If he's [Brook] got anything to do with Eddie Hearn, I don't want the fight. I'll never fight him. I don't wanna do business with Eddie Hearn again. That guy, he's completely disrespected Golden Boy, Team Khan; he's unprofessional, irritating, and arrogant to work with, especially after what he did in the fight at the press conference. We all agreed we won't work with this guy again. It's Kell's dream to fight Amir Khan, so if he wants it and he's with Eddie Hearn, it ain't gonna happen. I tell you now, I wouldn't want to give Kell Brook a payday. It's similar to Ricky Hatton and Junior Witter. Witter went about that the wrong way. He disrespected Ricky, who at the time was the man, so why is Ricky going to give you a payday when you struggle to sell out small arenas? And the same goes for Kell. It makes no sense. He don't deserve a payday from me. Who's he ever fought? Yeah, in the UK people want it, the local scrap, but in America, nobody in America knows who Kell Brook is? I get emails from American fans asking who's this Kell Brook guy. Who's giving him so much publicity? He's never fought anyone. He's using my name to become a star. The welterweight division is packed like never before. There's so many names out there. We have Malignaggi, Berto, Ortiz, Mike Jones, Shane Mosley, Mayweather, Pacquiao, they're all up there, but he don't want any of them. He's not yet on that world stage yet. It's too late for him. I think he'll lose and it's over for him.

BJ: Okay, so say Eddie Hearn was not involved. If Kell agreed to everything and the fight happened, how does it pan out?

AK: I'd beat him. I'd beat him easy, okay. I've met him a few times. He was a nice guy. We used to get along. We used to be in camp together. I've met him at a few boxing shows, but all of a sudden, he just turned; he just turned on me, all of a sudden. He's like, "I'ma knock Amir Khan out." I mean, jealously is a huge part when a boxer is a similar age and had a similar amount of fights. I have properly made so, so much more money than him. I have made millions and he's only making say £20,000-£30,000 a fight, and it's a big thing. I'm all over the TV. Whenever I'm filling out 10,000 seat arenas, he's selling out his hometown. He's just trying to make a name for himself. I mean, I used to like the guy. I had nothing against him, but all of a sudden, the guy's talking crap. It angered me. I mean, Brad, if he had not badmouthed me, maybe I would not tell you thing's like this, but as for the England coaches, they know what happened in sparring. That's all I am sayin' (laughing).

BJ: Go on.

AK: I was lighter than him. I used to slap him around the ring. Whatever happens in sparring stays in sparring usually, but he badmouthed me, so there's the truth. When I heard him say he battered me when we sparred, I couldn't stop laughing. I actually hope someone out there has that video. One of the coaches may. The coaches there saw what happened and me and him know what happened. I know I'm too fast and too accurate for him. He was having problems in his last fight, so I heard he's got a lot to learn. He could develop into a good fighter, maybe one of the best we have had, but the way he's going off, his attitude to the sport, the way he slags me off, I'm not sure.

CLICK HERE IF YOU MISSED PART 1 OF THIS IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW WITH AMIR KHAN

CLICK HERE IF YOU MISSED PART 2 OF THIS IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW WITH AMIR KHAN

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