Now that Amir Khan has wrapped his mind around the concept of appearing on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather’s mega match against Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas on May 3, he plans on stealing the show.
“It’s going to be wonderful to be on the huge card,’’ said Khan. “I’m looking forward to the fight against Luis Collazo. He’s a tough fighter. I believe I belong at the welterweight division. I really believe it can steal the show. Whenever I fight I want to give the fans 100%.’’
In his career, Khan’s aggressive style has worked in his favor and against him (KO losses to Danny Garcia and Breidis Prescott). In knocking out Victor Ortiz in his last fight, Collazo displayed a level of concussive power that seems to have evaded him for most of his career. With both of them fighting for a chance to meet Mayweather next, the match has the makings of being an explosive affair.
Khan and Collazo spoke on a telephone press conference with several reporters on Wednesday afternoon. They were joined by Richard Schaefer, the CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, and Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President-General Manager Sports and Event Programming at Showtime Networks.
Schaefer said Khan-Collazo is the type of fight that could stand on its own as a main event at any major arena in the U.S. Espinoza agreed.
“It’s the most expensive undercard that we’re aware of. The money has to come from somewhere and it’s an investment in the sport,’’ Espinoza said. “This is the fight that could steal the show on the entire night. There’s never been a boring Khan fight. Luis has faced the elite in his weight class. He’s fought some of the top welterweights like Ricky Hatton, Andre Berto and Shane Mosley. On my scorecard he’s beaten at least two of the three top guys he’s faced.’’
Khan said it took him a while to get over the fact that Mayweather passed him over in favor of Maidana in the main event. But when Mayweather’s representatives came back and offered him a spot in the co-feature, he was receptive.
“It was a surprise when they said it would be good for you to fight on the undercard,’’ Khan said. “Then I said it would be a good idea. There are going to be more than a million people watching the fight. So it will be good for me to showcase my skills.’’
Khan passed up a match for the welterweight title against Devon Alexander last year while waiting to see if he was going to get the match against Mayweather. He said he isn’t worried about having missed an opportunity to fight for the welterweight title. Alexander lost the title to Shawn Porter.
Khan will have been out of the ring for 13 months before he steps into the ring against Collazo. He said he doesn’t expect there to be any ring rust, because he has been getting excellent sparring. He has also been crafting his body into being a welterweight, something he had planned to do two years ago.
“I really believe I’ll be OK. Time will tell,’’ he said. “I could have just sat home and taken holidays and relaxed. I was working on becoming a better fighter. I think I’m in a better position really.’’