The next time Amir Khan steps into the ring, he’ll have a new attitude and a new weight class.
Khan is in negotiations to fight IBF welterweight champion Devon Alexander, the British boxer confirmed to Newsday Monday. If negotiations go according to plan, the fight will be on Dec. 7. The venue has yet to be determined, but Khan said Las Vegas and Dubai are options. Khan, who has ventured far from England to secure big fights, said he’ll fight anywhere.
“Las Vegas is where I’ve had good results,” he said. “But I’ve never said no to a fight anywhere.”
But there is a bit of a twist as Khan will be fighting at welterweight for the first time in his career. Khan (28-3, 19 KOs), who has won his last two bouts against Julio Diaz and Carlos Molina, has fought at junior welterweight and lightweight for most of his career.
So why the switch in weight?
“There are more fighters to face,” said Khan. “There is hardly anyone left at 140.”
Khan went through the list of top fighters to move from 140 to 147 over the last several years, including Tim Bradley, Alexander, Marcos Maidana and Paulie Malignaggi.
Khan also said it will be easier for him to make 147. “I was killing myself to make 140,” said Khan. “I was making a mistake trying to make 140 all the time.”
Khan nearly had a taste of the welterweight division in his previous fight against Diaz, which was fought at a catch-weight of 143 pounds. Even that was a bit of a struggle.
“Fighters who are happy making weight fight better,” said Khan.
In addition to giving Khan the IBF welterweight championship, a win against Alexander (25-1) should open a few more doors for the boxer, who still doesn’t think he gets enough respect. “I’m still calling guys out,” said Khan. “I’m the one who put the fight to Alexander. They just don’t want to fight me.”
Khan said he would "love" to fight Bradley or Adrien Broner. A fight against Bradley is out of the question because of the tension between Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions. Bradley is under contract with Top Rank and Khan with Golden Boy.
He said he would even fight his friend and sometimes workout partner Manny Pacquiao. "Me and Pacman are friends, but this is a business," said Khan.
That fight could be an issue, too, since Pacquiao is under contract with Top Rank.
Khan has his eyes on a bigger prize, though. He believes a win against Alexander would put him Floyd Mayweather’s sights. That’s not anything new, according to Alexander.
“He’s already talked about fighting me,” said Khan. “Beating Alexander could put me in a serious fight against Mayweather.”