LONDON (28 May) – Boxing ace Amir Khan is refusing to overlook Chris Algieri despite media talk of a clash next up with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather.
The 28-year-old Bolton star has been mooted as ‘Money’ Mayweather’s final opponent in September before he hangs up his gloves on an illustrious 19-year professional career.
However, Khan has refused to be drawn into any Mayweather talk and insists his focus is solely on New Yorker Algieri, who he faces live and exclusive on BoxNation this Friday night.
“My thoughts are only on Chris Algieri and him alone,” said Khan. “I’m not looking past Friday night because in boxing you can never do that – I’ve learnt that through the years.
“I’m focused only on Algieri because I know he’s a dangerous opponent and he’s someone who has my full respect. I will need to be on my ‘A’ game against him because he has a history of upsetting the odds,” said Khan.
“You can’t ignore that history but at the end of the day I believe I will have too much for him.”
The former unified champion was referring to shock wins over the highly touted Emmanuel Taylor and the then WBO light-welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov, victories which propelled Algieri into a megafight with Manny Pacquiao.
The 31-year-old was convincingly beaten in that fight last November but showed tremendous heart to keep persevering, something which impressed Khan.
“I think Algieri has learnt a lot of things from the Pacquiao fight. He may have lost but he showed great determination and will in there to keep getting back up and fighting,” said Khan.
“The fact he has changed trainers too shows the type of character he is. He wants to improve and get better and he recognised that he has to make changes – that’s something to admire.
“John David Jackson is a very good trainer but it takes time to pick things up with a new coach so I’m going to be looking to take advantage of that. It’s going to be a very difficult night for Algieri,” he said.
Khan knows first-hand how changing trainers can also impact positively having made the switch from Freddie Roach to San Francisco based Virgil Hunter three years ago, a move which is really beginning to bear fruit.
“Each training camp my bond with Virgil is getting stronger. He gets to know me more and I think each performance people are beginning to see that,” said Khan.
“Against Luis Collazo and then Devon Alexander in my last fight you saw the improvements we have been making and I believe this time you will see even more positive things.
“Virgil knows what works for me and how to get through to me – he’s making me a complete fighter. I’m a smarter fighter than I ever was before and know now how best to use assets such as my speed and movement,” he said.
Khan vs. Algieri is live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky 437/490HD, Virgin 546, TalkTalk 525) this Friday night. Visit boxnation.com to subscribe.