• Light welterweight

Khan: Brook no match for me

ESPN staff
March 19, 2013 « Blackburn sack Appleton after just 67 days | Chartbeat test »

Despite dismissing his rivalry with Kell Brook as 'banter', Amir Khan still believes Brook would not trouble him if the pair were to meet in the ring.

Former world champion Khan, who will fight in the UK for the first time in two years when he faces Julio Diaz in Brook's hometown of Sheffield next month, insists his style would be too much for the Matchroom fighter.

"It is all banter," Khan told BoxingScene, when asked about his rivalry with Brook. "I've got nothing against this or that fighter.

"Banter's what boxing is about when you have to promote a fight between us, but he has to win a world title for that fight to be made. Even if he beats the guys I've already beaten, [Zab] Judah, [Marcos] Maidana and them types, then he'll still be behind me because they've not got titles - he's not even fought anyone in the top ten yet."

Khan added: "There's only going to be pressure on me because I'm fighting someone who can't do anything for me.

"I'd just be doing it because of what people or his fans have been saying. If I win then people will say they expected it. If I lose, for some reason, then people will have a lot to say. I've got nothing to win in that fight. I'd beat him anyway because boxing is all about styles - my hand speed and style would be too much for him.

"I saw his fight against Carson Jones, who has far less hand speed and style than me, and Kell suffered against him so badly - it was a very hard fight. With my style, he'd stand no chance.

"It is a fight for the future, we both have fights coming up so if we get through them then it could happen."

Following his fourth round defeat to Danny Garcia last July, Khan split from trainer Freddie Roach before pairing with Virgil Hunter. Khan believes Hunter has helped improve his tactical fighting and that he will not be making the same mistakes again.

"We've been working on new things and have been focusing on more things than I did in my last fight, looking at being more careful and focused, things that will make me a better fighter," Khan said.

"I've been in fights where I've made mistakes and won't make those mistakes again. I'll still be using my speed and power, but I'll be boxing my way into fights. There's no point looking for the knockout all the time. I'll be smarter.

"I need someone like Virgil who will push me and tell me it straight. That will only make me a better fighter by making me understand the sport better and understand what I'm doing."

Returning to fight on English soil is something that Khan has been looking forward to, and he admitted to taking a pay cut to box in what will be his first ever fight in Sheffield against former IBF lightweight champion Diaz.

"It feels good to be coming back to Britain," the 26-year-old said. "I really want to fight back there because people keep saying to me: 'When are you coming back to England?'

"So I've taken a pay cut for this fight to come back to my loyal fans. I'm excited about it."

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