Amir Khan has insisted that his attention is solely on his fight with Luiz Collazo despite his main goal being to secure a shot at Floyd Mayweather’s welterweight titles before the end of 2014.
The Bolton-based boxer is trying to keep his mind off of a future bout against ‘Money’ as he prepares to take on Collazo in Las Vegas.
But that will be a lot easier said than done in Sin City during fight week, with Mayweather’s name and face popping up all over the place - he owns Vegas and headlines this Saturday's blockbuster card at the MGM Grand.
Khan’s fight is on the Mayweather-Maidana undercard and it was a strategic decision from the Brit to end a 12-month absence from the ring on a 'Money' show.
The 27-year-old believes an impressive performance will pile the pressure on Mayweather to agree to a fight against him in the future – most likely this time next year.
But, following his shocking defeats at the hands of Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia in the past, he is well aware of the dangers of looking too far ahead.
“I’m not thinking about other possible fights, my mind and my attention is solely on Luis Collazo,” said Khan, who hasn't fought since his victory against Julio Diaz last April.
“To overlook him would be foolish, he needs to be respected and I give him that respect.”
Collazo went the distance with Ricky Hatton in 2006 and gave the Hitman an almighty scare. He eventually lost by unanimous decision but Hatton attests to his danger and power in the ring.
Khan knows he is in for a real fight and is wary of looking too far ahead with Collazo coming into this bout in great confidence following his victory over Victor Ortiz last year.
“I don’t know what the future holds for me. I have to get through Luis Collazo to see what that might be. It’s a tough fight but one I’m ready for and very confident about.
“I can’t wait to get in the ring on Saturday because it’s been so long – I wish it was tomorrow. You’re going to see an improved Amir Khan, the best Amir Khan, there’s no doubt in my mind about that.”
Fighting Collazo on the Mayweather undercard, Khan could be forgiven for looking on ruefully as Maidana prepares for the bout he so desperately wanted – and nearly got.
The former double light-welterweight world champion believed he had secured the clash with Mayweather after having agreed a contract in principle and abandoning plans to fight Devon Alexander for the IBF title last December.
As we know, it was not to be and now it is over a year since Khan last fought thanks to his career effectively being put on hold while he went in pursuit of his dream clash.
“It was a difficult time,” he said. “But the fact is I moved on fairly quickly when I knew the Mayweather shot wasn't happening.
“It was just about refocusing my mind on the next opponent and luckily we were able to announce Luis Collazo straight away.
“I wanted a tough challenge at welterweight and not just to go in there against some average guy.
“Collazo is a legitimate welterweight, who is very confident after his win against Victor Ortiz, but I know I have the tools to beat him.”
The former WBA champion, Collazo, will be Khan’s first opponent since moving up to welterweight and the 33-year-old American knows a victory could well secure his own super fight with Mayweather.
“A win over Khan does put me in the Mayweather sweepstakes but my sights are set on Khan,” said Collazo.
We are certainly in store for an action-packed evening of boxing on May 3, with the victors on the night most likely set to face each other in the same arena this time next year.
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