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AMIR KHAN will do things his own way. The natural fight for him, you’d have thought, would be, at long last, to box his British rival Kell Brook. But instead he will travel to America for a world title fight with Terence Crawford.
His calculation is simple. Khan explained, “Do I stick with the Kell Brook fight, which I know will always be there regardless? Or do I take this next big fight which might not be there for me?”
Khan has to know that Brook would a hugely lucrative contest for him. “That’s a big fight as well,” he said. “Wembley [stadium] would be the ideal location for me. Watching [Anthony] Joshua fight there, watching big football matches there, 90,000 people there would be awesome.”
“The gate alone and then you’ve got pay-per-view, the pay per view market will be big because recently the big fights they’ve been hitting around a million plus buys,” he continued. “It’s a big fight, if you’re going to sell out Wembley stadium. The fight’s been talked about for so many years.
“It’s a business so it has to make sense financially as well.”
But boxing Brook would go beyond that too. “It’s more about the legacy as well, this is a fight that can cement our legacy,” Khan admits. “I’ve got more to lose but at the same time me winning this fight will put everyone straight who the best British fighter in the welterweight is.”
“It is a massive fight for the British fight fans.”
But Khan feels he might only have two fights left in his whole career. That’s why he wants to make Crawford and a world title shot one of them, while he has the opportunity. “There are only a couple of fights left in me,” Khan said. “I don’t want to be in the game too long where my reaction time gets slower, I start taking too many shots.
“I’ll fight anyone they put in front of me. It just has to make sense.”
When it comes to the risk of travelling to America to fight a US star, Khan takes inspiration from Tyson Fury’s performance against Deontay Wilder.
“I think he outboxed him. I’ve never seen Wilder miss that many and Fury seemed very composed throughout the whole fight. The referee did a great job because when he put him down a second time, I thought he was gone,” Khan said. “At least it was a draw. What would have been more upsetting and bad for boxing was if Wilder won the fight. They called it a draw, it’ll happen again and we’ll see who the winner is.”
“It gives all boxers confidence,” he adds. “I’ve been put down a few times in my career but I’ve always got back up. It’s the hard training I’ve done. Mentally as well, anyone can be put down, it’s happened to the best of us.”