AMIR KHAN is exceptionally confident that he can beat Floyd Mayweather after watching the American superstar outscore Marcos Maidana at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The Briton spotted flaws in “Money” that he is desperate to exploit.
“Maidana is nowhere as good as me,” Khan explained. “Maidana was catching him all the time, and it was having an effect on Mayweather. Imagine someone younger, someone faster, catching him.”
Khan, who managed to resolve issues with his visa to make it to America, believes that Mayweather is declining.
“He is the number one pound-for-pound fighter in boxing, without a doubt,” Khan said. “But his work-rate is not there anymore, his movement is not there, or not like it was. He’s not the same Floyd Mayweather I saw five years ago. His last two fights have taken a lot out of him. My style would give him a lot of problems. I’d give him 10 times more problems than Maidana gave him.”
Khan accepts that he has shown weaknesses in the past. But when it comes to Mayweather, the 2004 Olympian is certain he would triumph.
“I have a good boxing brain,” Amir said. “No one can beat me when it comes to boxing. I admit I’ve been knocked out a couple of times, but when it comes to boxing, no one can beat me. When it comes to a chess match, like it would be with Mayweather, I can’t lose.”
In the days leading up to the Maidana rematch, Mayweather said he will retire after two more fights, and there have been several signs that he is growing tired of boxing.
“I believe him [Mayweather] when he says he will retire [after two more fights] and that’s why I think we might not fight,” said Khan. “If it doesn’t happen then so be it, but I’ll always wonder what would have happened if we don’t fight.”
Khan dazzled in his last outing, a win over Luis Collazo on the first Mayweather-Maidana card in May that showed his relationship with trainer Virgil Hunter is blossoming. Khan endured a 13-month layoff after struggling past Julio Diaz in April last year, and the accomplished coach believes the break was a blessing in disguise.
“The time out of the ring certainly helped,” said Hunter. “It’s like I told Amir, if he comes and practices his craft in between fights then the sky is the limit for him. So he gave me his word that he would do it, and I told him that if he did do it, that if he changed his style that had got him to a certain point, and changed certain things, he would be a very difficult fight for anybody. Now he sees it and we haven’t seen the best of him yet. He’s an immense talent.”
Hunter believes that Khan can be the man the end Mayweather’s brilliant 47-fight unbeaten run. But he refused to be drawn into talk that Floyd is in decline.
“If a fighter stays around long enough, a decline will speak for itself,” Hunter explained. “[But] it would be foolish to say he [Mayweather] was in decline. He hasn’t lost, he is the toughest guy in the business and he has that respect in my mind.”
Nonetheless, Hunter wants the Mayweather showdown as much as Khan.
“I want the Mayweather fight for Amir, of course. It’s his dream fight. If you have a fighter you support, then you’re going to support their dream fight. I want it just as badly as he wants it himself. If it happens I’m right there with Amir.”
Mayweather was informed of Khan’s confidence, and desire, at the post-fight press conference.
“Yes, Amir is a credible opponent, a good fighter,” Mayweather said. “I remember when Khan was an amateur. Where was I? I was world champion. I remember when he won the world title. I was still champion. I remember when he got knocked out. I was still champion. And I remember when he got knocked out again. Where was I? I was still world champion.”