Sat, Apr 04, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Khan plans showdown with Algieri

AFP, LONDON

Amir Khan, left, connects on Devon Alexander at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 13 last year.

Photo: Reuters

British boxer Amir Khan announced on Thursday that he is set to fight former light-welterweight world titlist Chris Algieri on May 30.

Khan had come under pressure to take on British rival and IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook in June.

However, the former Olympic silver medalist, who was also linked with bouts against Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman, said he was already deep in negotiations to fight somebody else.

And on his wife’s YouTube channel, Khan announced: “The next opponent will be Chris Algieri. I will be taking that fight at 147lbs [the welterweight limit].”

The fight has yet to be rubber-stamped, but Khan added: “I’m looking forward to getting this fight announced officially by my manager and advisor Al Haymon.”

Algieri’s only defeat in his 21-fight professional career came in his last bout, against Philippine superstar Manny Pacquiao, who faces Floyd Mayweather Jr in a mega-fight on May 2.

Khan believes his American foe is a credible opponent as he wrested the WBO light-welterweight title off the much-feared Ruslan Provodnikov in June last year — albeit by highly controversial split-decision.

“You can class him as an A-class opponent,” Khan said. “He has fought decent opponents, beaten decent opponents, and just fell short against Manny Pacquiao.”

The 28-year-old hopes to fight in Algieri’s home city of New York, with Khan’s only previous outing there an 11th-round stoppage of Paulie Malignaggi at Madison Square Garden in May 2010.

This time, though, Khan wants the non-title bout at the Barclays Center as he said: “We’re looking at fighting in New York, I think New York’s a great venue for me.”

Khan has made no secret of his desire to chase lucrative showdowns against Mayweather or Pacquiao and is confident a win over Algieri can lead him to that.

“Hopefully this can lead me on to the bigger fights in the future, which is what I’m looking at,” he added.

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