AMIR KHAN has declared “boxing is over” if Conor McGregor defeats Floyd Mayweather, but would consider a fight with the Irishman if the unthinkable happens.
Khan, out of the ring since a May 2016 loss to Canelo Alvarez, is back in training in San Francisco after three operations to repair his right hand but has ventured to Las Vegas to watch tomorrow night’s ‘contest’ between Mayweather and McGregor.
“It’s a money fight,” said Khan. “It’s going to make a lot of money and boxing is a business. It is going to be a good fight for the first couple of rounds but I see Mayweather getting a stoppage. This could be Mayweather’s chance to finish his career on a high against a big name. He’s fighting a guy who hasn’t had a fight, people are forgetting that. They know his MMA career is good. It will be exciting for a couple of rounds then Mayweather will walk through him.”
For now, Khan believes the contest is doing the sport a favour due to the interest it has created but it will have a reverse effect if McGregor – the MMA star and boxing debutant – stuns the world and beats Mayweather at his own game.
“I think it’s good for boxing. I think boxing needs this. The PPV numbers have been s**t [in the USA] recently. Boxing needs a fight like this to get boxing back up again. The winner of this will give the fans an idea of which sport to follow and which sport is better. If Mayweather wins the boxing goes on a high, if McGregor wins then people will follow MMA.
“I mean it should be a warning to boxing. There are a lot of titles out there [in boxing]. It gives more people an opportunity for a title. UFC there is only one champion which makes it harder for them. I think the way boxing is going is fine. It is a warning that you must step your game up. Especially if McGregor wins, boxing is over. I can’t see him winning though. To have this fight will take whichever sport to a different level.”
Khan, who hopes to be back in the ring before the end of the year, admits he would consider a contest with McGregor should he end Mayweather’s long and distinguished unbeaten run.
“It moves the goalposts,” Khan said when asked if he’d be willing to fight McGregor. “You’d take it because it’s a big name. To do a fight like that in the UK would be massive. I’d even go to Ireland and fight him there. You might beat him in the ring but walking out of the ring might be a bit of an issue!”
Khan doesn’t expect the goalposts to move, though.
“I think people are thinking too far ahead. I was speaking to Paulie Malignaggi [who sparred McGregor recently] and he said he is really bad at boxing but he does throw some good shots in MMA. Some people only do well when they have that adrenaline rush.”