This weekend we will once again be witness to one of England’s biggest stars, as former world champion Amir Khan steps into the ring to face off with undefeated WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford. The fight will air on ESPN pay per view from Madison Square Garden in New York.
Khan is certainly a big underdog, and at 32 years old his back looks to be up against the wall. Khan has been in with a gauntlet of top fighters, winning many and losing some heartbreaking battles. His best success seemed to come at 140 pounds, but he offered up his take on his abilities at 147 pounds.
“I’ve had some good fights in the welterweight division,” Khan said at Wednesday’s final press conference. “We fought [Luis] Collazo. We fought [Devon] Alexander. [Virgil Hunter] has brought the best out of me. Even the Canelo fight was going well until I got caught with a shot. So, I mean, whereas this fight I’m fighting someone who is my own weight, which helps. Every fight with Virgil, I’ve learned something from, win or lose, and he’s brought the best out of me. I needed to get back with someone who could bring that respect back for the sport of boxing and also make me work harder.”
Crawford is regarded by many as the sport’s top fighter and Khan appears to be soaking up a chance to upset the odds.
“This ranks at the top for me because fighting a world champion, Terence is very high in the pound-for-pound rankings, maybe number one or number two. So, it’s just amazing for me to be in this position once again. That itself is a great motivation for me, to know that I’m fighting the best out there once again. And it makes me train harder, work harder and focus on this fight.”
Khan is very fast but has fought reckless at times, as has been the case in some of his defeats. Crawford is very skilled and Khan knows that he can’t afford to leave any room for error.
“I know that I can’t make any mistakes in this fight because I could be trouble,” said Khan. “Terence, I’ve been watching all the videos of his fights. I see how he breaks down fighters, how he sees openings and stuff, and I can’t make those openings.”
Khan struggled a bit in his last effort, being dropped by capable journeyman Samuel Vargas before going on to win a clear decision.
“Maybe my last performance got me this fight,” Khan said. “To me, that wasn’t the best performance. That wasn’t the best Amir Khan. I’m now back with my old trainer, Virgil Hunter, where I’m happy and he trained me the best. And he knows me better than any trainer out there. We know we’ve done everything we have to do for this fight, and I’m going to be more than ready.”
Khan has reached great highs in his career but perhaps this would be the icing on the cake, if he could somehow upset Crawford. It’s a dangerous assignment, but one he is facing steadfast.
“This is a dream come true, and hopefully on Saturday, a dream will come true, where I get my opportunity to fight for another world title and be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world,” Khan said. “This just drives me, makes me work harder, train harder, stay focused. I don’t want to lose this fight because I want to achieve everything I want in the sport of boxing.”