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AMIR KHAN has a problem. His opponent on April 20, the WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford has never lost. He’s looked tremendous as he has risen through the weights, a world champion at 135lbs, the undisputed super-lightweight king and winning the WBO crown from Manny Pacquiao-conqueror Jeff Horn. Crawford has not lost in 34 fights. Khan, while he has had tremendous wins in his long career, he has suffered spectacular defeats.
The Briton’s vulnerabilities have been well documented. But he insists that he has seen weaknesses in Crawford. “I have. Look, he’s a very good fighter – he picks his shots really well but there’s ways of beating that and I just feel that I know exactly what to do. I’ve fought many styles in my career, in sparring and especially at the high level and amateur fights,” Khan said. “That sort of style does suit me and sometimes he likes to come forward which will definitely suit me. If he comes forward looking for it, that will make it even better. I think it’s a great style for me and I believe I will win this fight.”
He has been sparring with Mike Dallas and Devin Haney among others. He has also reunited with trainer Virgil Hunter, after he has recovered from a severe illness. “It’s been going well. It seems like he’s got the love back into it again, he’s spending a lot of time in the gym. We do have a big camp – at the moment we’ve got Chris Eubank in house, there’s myself, there’s a few other up and coming fighters. There’s Mario Barrios, there’s Dominic Breazeale and Olympic gold medalist Tony Yoka,” Khan said. “Virgil has a very busy gym and he’s handling it very well. He’s in great shape and he’s doing a great job. He’s the best he’s ever been.”
Seemingly Hunter is instilling further self-belief in Khan, despite the travails of his professional career. “I’m getting to spend a lot of time with him and it’s more serious now than it ever has been. That definitely makes me more confident,” Amir said. “He’s more focused on me now. Also he’s making sure I’m doing things right and not making mistakes I’ve made before in the game. His reputation is on the line in this fight also. It also gives Virgil another chance to have another pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. I know how much Virgil wants it.”
“Whatever Crawford brings to the table I’m going to have an answer for,” he added. “It’s very different because it’s only the second fight in my whole career that I’m going into as the underdog. The one against Canelo and now this one. It makes me want to prove a point, come out strongly and win this fight even harder.
“I just think that people are thinking that I’ve got no chance but I’ve been watching videos of Crawford and he’s very beatable, especially with a style like mine.”