• Boxing

Khan can be pound-for-pound king - De La Hoya

ESPN staff
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Amir Khan is promoted by Oscar de la Hoya's Golden Boy company © PA Photos
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Former world champion Oscar de la Hoya believes Amir Khan has what it takes to be declared the world's pound-for-pound king.

WBA light-welterweight champion Khan has put together a six-fight winning run after suffering a humiliating loss to Breidis Prescott in 2008, with celebrated trainer Freddie Roach coaxing a significant improvement out of his pupil.

There were doubts about Khan's chin before he fought big-hitting Marcos Maidana last December - but he silenced cynics by prevailing in a brutal 12-round war, and is on course for a unification battle with Timothy Bradley later this year.

Victory against Bradley would open the door for a scrap with Floyd Mayweather Jnr - and De La Hoya, who promotes Khan, has no qualms about throwing him into that fight.

"Amir Khan really wants to be great and, obviously, to be great you have to face the very best," he told Ringside. "I think this is the perfect time for him to do that.

"He can not only be one of the best coming out of Europe but he can be one of the best coming out of the whole world."

Khan's next defence of the WBA strap comes against the unbeaten Paul McCloskey on April 16.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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