Currently recognized as the best in the 140lb division, WBA/IBF champ Amir Khan (26-1, 18KOs) will be taking on dangerous up and comer Lamont Peterson(29-1, 15KOs) on HBO's BAD telecast this coming Saturday. The fight will take place in Peterson's hometown of Washington D.C.
Khan has been tearing his way through the Jr. Welterweight division as of late disposing of former world class talent such as Zab Judah while impressively surviving but more importantly beating the all out brawler known as Marcos Maidana. I received an opportunity to speak with him Amir today and topics ranged from training partner Manny Pacquaio's recent controversial clash with Juan Manuel Marquez to facing the other man considered to be the best in the division, Timothy Bradley.
CraveOnline: How has this training camp gone for you?
Amir Khan: Training camp has been well. It's been long, it's been tough. It's been ten weeks in total and I'm just glad this is the last week now. There's only a few days left. It's been well, all the hard work has been done. It's just about making weight now and keeping focused on the fight.
CraveOnline: This Saturday you'll be facing Lamont Peterson. What do you think are some of his best assets as a boxer?
Amir Khan: He's tall, he's tight. He's got a good jab on him. He's quick but he's not as fast as me. Apparently he's heavy handed. He can fight on the inside, he can fight on the outside. He can move around. I mean yeah he's got the full package but he's lost to the best in my opinion in the division and people seem to ignore the fights he's had before that he won. He drew against Ortiz. He's lost against Bradley who was considered number one. You know I think he's going to be my toughest test yet.
CraveOnline: Some fighters succumb to the pressure of performing in their hometown. Do you feel you have an advantage since Peterson will be doing so on Saturday night?
Amir Khan: Yeah , I mean for the first time he's going to be fighting on top of the bill on the big stage. Especially in his hometown he has a chance to win two world titles and he's going to have all of his fans there, family there, friend there and this is his chance. He's not going to get a better chance to win a world title in his hometown. I had the opportunity a few years ago and I done it quite well because I had that experience fighting in front of a big crowd. But I think he might crack under the pressure. Especially when he doesn't know what to do and he gets hit by punches he doesn't see and combinations and he can't catch me. I think he's going to feel the pressure and he might crack. That's why I have to take advantage of it.
CraveOnline: Did you spar with Manny Pacquaio for this fight in particular?
Amir Khan: Not for this fight. Manny's a southpaw and he's quite short as well. Peterson's orthodox and he's tall. My style is similar to Marquez's so it made sense for Manny to spar me for Marquez. But for me it didn't make sense to get prepared for Peterson so we didn't spar.
CraveOnline: Speaking of Manny and Marquez, I'd like to get your take on that fight. Do you think Manny deserved the decision he was awarded and were you surprised by Marquez's performance?
Amir Khan: A lot of people expected Manny to knockout Marquez. We all did to be honest with you especially after what Mayweather did to Marquez. When Marquez performed really well it was a surprise to a lot of people. I was surprised how well Marquez did but you always have that one fighter who knows you too well and it's going to take that extra edge, that extra push just to beat him. It was a very close fight. When I watched the fight again on HBO I think Pacquaio won it comfortably by one or two rounds but in the arena it did look like Marquez put a bit more effort in and might have eeked it.
CraveOnline: In my opinion you are the premier fighter at 140. When can we expect to see Amir Khan at 147?
Amir Khan: I know myself as well that I'm the best in the 140 division.I'm the unified champion. Bradley don't want to fight me. Morales said no. Marquez said no. So there's not that many people left to fight. I've already faced six or seven fighters in the top ten and beaten them comfortably. People are asking for the Maidana rematch and I've already beaten him. I wanna fight Bradley. I wanna fight Marquez. I wanna fight Morales. I want the belts. If they keep saying no I might have to move up for my next fight and look at the likes of Berto, Ortiz. You got Mayweather, Mosley and guys like that.
CraveOnline: Who would you like to face next if you get past Peterson?
Amir Khan: If I get past Peterson I want Timothy Bradley. He's got the other title. He's been mouthing off a lot. He spoiled my chance to become the undisputed champion by not taking the fight and he was stripped of the WBC. So I want the belt. If Morales has got the WBC, I want to fight Morales next but if they both say no I cannot do anything and just move up. The winner of Berto and Ortiz looks like a good fight for me but even at 147 I think Marquez would be a really good fight. I'd probably want one fight before I fight Mayweather in the 147 pound division.
CraveOnline: What do you envision for yourself in the next five years?
Amir Khan: I'm going to be retired in the next five years hopefully. I just turned twenty-five today.
CraveOnline: Happy birthday.
Amir Khan: Thanks man. I've always said I'd retire around the age of twenty-eight. I don't wanna stay to long in the sport once I've accomplished everything and achieve what I want to achieve. I want to leave the sport the same way I got into the sport. I've been fighting three or four times a year. Last year it was only two fights, it wasn't very busy because some fights don't go through. This year I fought a few times. Next year I want to fight a few times and then the next couple of years probably a couple of times each against the pound for pound best fighters in the world. My dream was to become a world champion, I've become a world champion. I want to win more belts in more divisions but my ultimate dream is to become pound for pound champion of the world and the only way to do that is by beating the best.
CraveOnline: What will happen on Saturday night?
Amir Khan: I'm glad to be boxing back in Washington. It's going to be a full house. Peterson is going to have his fans there but the way I've been going around Washington, the amount of people that have been taking pictures and stopping me that are attending the fight, I think I might have as many fans as Peterson at the arena so that's going to be a big surprise for him. I want to put on a show. People expect me to win this fight. It's going to be a very tough fight. My hardest test yet but when I go in that arena I want to beat him and beat him in style. I want to make sure Washington doesn't forget this fight on Saturday night. I need to make a big statement. I think this is one of the last fights of the year and I wanna finish the year off with a big bang just like I did last year with the Maidana fight. I'm going out there to impress. I'm not going out there to just take time and throw a few punches and win the fight comfortably. I want to go and try to knock this guy out.
Amir Khan will be facing Lamont Peterson live on HBO's Boxing After Dark this Saturday night.
Photo credit – AP