Khan: Beating Samuel Vargas will take me to a world title
By Tim Royner: Amir Khan is targeting a world title fight for later this year after he gets done with his fight with Samuel Vargas next week on September 8 in Birmingham. Khan, 31, believes that he’s now hitting the prime of his career despite the fact that it’s been six long years since he last held a world title in 2012.
6 years is a long time for Khan not to have held a world title. The good news is Khan (32-4, 20 KOs) looked good in his last fight in defeating the 33-year-old Phil Lo Greco by a 1st round knockout on April 21 in in his comeback fight in Liverpool, England. Unfortunately, that wasn’t a good opponent that Khan beat in that fight in blasting out Lo Greco.
Khan wants to make sure that he looks incredibly good in beating the 29-year-old Vargas (29-3-2 14 KOs), because the fight will push him up the rankings in the welterweight division and help him get the title fight that he’s longing for. The champion that Khan is targeting is WBA ‘regular’ welterweight belt holder Manny Pacquiao, who is clearly the weakest link of the current four world champions at the moment. There will soon be five world champions at 147 after Danny Garcia faces Shawn Porter for the vacant World Boxing Council title on September 8. Pacquiao will still be seen as the weak link among the champion even after the Garcia-Porter fight. As such, if Khan wants to win a world title at welterweight, then he needs to go after Pacquiao, which is what he plans on doing.
“This next fight is very important to me, beating Vargas, not just beating him but also looking really good against him will only take me onto the big world title fights,” Khan said to skysports.com. “I’ll be challenging for a world title in my opinion by the end of the year, or early next year.”
Khan has the option of fighting for a world title against the likes of 39-year-old Manny Pacquiao or facing former IBF 147 pound champion Kell Brook in a Matchroom Boxing card on Sky Box Office in the UK. The bigger money for Khan would be to face Brook, as it’s a fight that will do great numbers in the UK, and it’ll give Amir the chance to get lion’s share of the revenue for the fight. If Khan fights Pacquiao, he’ll likely need to agree to the smaller purse split and it might be considerably less money than the Filipino star will make from the fight. If Khan faces Pacquiao, he would be doing it for the chance of glory to face the popular star before he fades away into the sunset and retires from boxing. Khan has always wanted to face Pacquiao, and this might be his last chance of doing so. However, getting the fight will likely come with a catch. Khan will need to agree to the smaller purse for that fight to have any chance of getting made, and it might be a considerably smaller purse.
”At 31, I’m at the peak of my career,” Khan said.
Khan might still be at the peak of his career in his eyes, but there’s not a place for him among the welterweight champions unless he gets the fight with the 40-ish Pacquiao and beats him. Khan isn’t likely going to beat welterweight champions Terence Crawford, Keith Thurman and Errol Spence Jr. He also won’t likely beat the Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter winner.
Since moving up to the welterweight division in 2013, Khan has not fought the best in the division. Khan’s fights at 147 have been limited to these fighters:
– Julio Diaz
– Luis Collazo
– Devon Alexander
– Chris Algieri
Those are good B-level welterweights that Khan has beaten, but he’s not fought the lion’s in the weight class like these guys:
– Errol Spence Jr.
– Terence Crawford
– Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman
– Danny Garcia – Khan lost to Garcia in 2012 in a fight at 140
– Shawn Porter
– Manny Pacquiao
– Floyd Mayweather Jr. – retired
– Kerman Lejarraga
– Jessie Vargas
– Andre Berto
– Adrien Broner
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