Amir Khan aims to prove he is Britain's best boxer

By Ben DirsBBC Sport
Amir Khan (left) and Zab Judah
Khan (left) faces Judah at the Mandalay Bay resort and casino in Las Vegas

Amir Khan believes his world title unification fight against Zab Judah on Saturday will prove beyond doubt he is Britain's premier fighter.

Khan, 24, will be defending his WBA light-welterweight crown in Las Vegas against IBF title-holder Judah.

"Pound-for pound, I'm way ahead of all the other British fighters, and I think people know that," Khan told BBC Sport.

"[US broadcaster] HBO thinks I'm the best British fighter, the most skilful and the most exciting to watch."

Among the men who might reject Khan's claims are Nottingham's WBC super-middleweight champion Carl Froch, who fights American Andre Wardexternal-link in Atlantic City on 29 October, and two-weight world champion David Haye, who was beaten by Wladimir Klitschko earlier this month.

While Khan's latest fight will be broadcast by HBO in the United States, in the UK it will be shown on fringe satellite channel Primetimeexternal-link after Sky declined the bout.

Sky's decision follows Khan's last fight, against Paul McCloskey in April, which ended in unsatisfactory circumstances when the Northern Irishman suffered a cut eye and the champion won via a technical decision.

Before that bout, Khan's camp decided to jump ship to Primetime after Sky bumped the fight from pay-per-view, and Sky has now rejected the match against Judah.

"HBO have shown so much support and have been doing a lot of promotion on this fight but it's different in England," said Khan, who has won 25 of his 26 fights and is defending his title for the fifth time.

"Anybody who knows anything about boxing will go crazy for this fight, it's an exciting fight with two big-hitters and Judah's fought some big names - Kostya Tszyu, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Angel Cotto - and is a five-time world champion.

"Zab Judah knows it's a big chance to prove himself again and that's what makes him dangerous. He's going to give it his all because he already owns a world title and he doesn't want to lose that.

"Plus, the winner of this fight could fight the winner of Floyd Mayweather v Victor Ortiz [in September] or maybe Manny Pacquiao. It's a great incentive for him, knowing there's a big fight on the horizon if he gets through this one.

"This is a unification fight with two titles on the line and after this fight people will start talking about Mayweather, but there may be one or two more fights to get to that level. It is a big fight at a big stage in my career."

The 33-year-old Judah, who has 41 wins from 49 fights in a career spanning 15 years, predicted a "sensational win".

"I like his [Khan's] heart and his willingness to take on challenges," added Judah. "Amir Khan didn't have to fight Zab Judah and I respect him for that."

One man Khan said he would not be fighting any time soon was unbeaten Sheffield welterweight Kell Brookexternal-link, who has been calling Khan out of late and recently won the fringe WBA intercontinental title with a victory over the veteran Lovemore N'dou.

"If that fight ever got made I'd knock him out," said Khan. "I used to spar with him in the amateurs and I played with him, I know what the guy is all about.

"He hasn't fought anyone at their peak - N'dou was 39 and he took him the distance. I would have knocked N'dou out in less than five rounds.

"He's a good fighter but he needs to step it up if he wants to meet me one day in the future. I'm not giving him an easy pay-day, if he wants to fight me he has to go in with a big-name fighter so that he brings something to the table.

"But to be honest with you I'd never want to fight him if Barry Hearn is going to be involved in promoting him - they were very unprofessional in the McCloskey fight and Hearn started crying in the ring because I beat one of his fighters.

"If I beat Kell Brook he's going to start crying again and if he [Brook] wants to fight me he needs to go out on his own or get with a different promotional team.

"I fight dangerous opponents and you've got guys like Kell Brook fighting guys who haven't even got a 10% chance of winning the fight - that says it all."