Britain’s Amir Khan is confident of victory next week against Lamont Peterson and ready if unbeaten rivals Floyd Mayweather or Tim Bradley come calling, but has no plans to fight friend Manny Pacquiao.
“If I train hard and keep training the way I do, I don’t think there’s anybody out there who can beat me,” Khan said on Monday.
Khan, 26-1 with 18 knockouts, will defend his World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation light-welterweight titles on December 10 at Washington against hometown hero Lamont Peterson, 29-1-1 with 15 knockouts.
“Our job is to beat him and move on to bigger and better things,” Khan said. “This is going to take me from being a good fighter to a superstar. Beating Lamont Peterson will hopefully make me one of the best fighters in the world.”
A victory by Khan, who has won his past eight fights, likely would launch the 24-year-old Englishman into the welterweight division against such foes as Mayweather, who has yet to name an opponent for his planned fight on May 5.
“We need a little more time to think about it, to look into it,” Khan said. “I never shy away from any fight. If they put Floyd Mayweather in front of me, I’ll be more than ready, but first I’ve got Lamont Peterson to take care of.”
Mayweather’s insistence upon tougher blood anti-doping tests, which helped scuttle a showdown with Pacquiao, is no worry for Khan, who faces random tests in Britain and knows them from his 2004 Olympic lightweight silver medal days.
“If that fight did come off, I’m happy to give them a test,” Khan said. “I’m a clean fighter. I’m used to it.”
One fight Khan has no plans on making is against Filipino icon Pacquiao, who like Khan trains with Freddie Roach in Los Angeles, where the English pugilist has worked for almost two months and “Pac-Man” trained for his victory earlier this month over Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez.
“We won’t fight each other. We have too much respect for each other,” Khan said. “Me and Manny, we’re cool. I was in his room the day before he fought Marquez.”
As for talk they might one day meet in the ring, Khan says: “We just laugh about it mainly.”
Roach sees many similarities in working with Pacquiao and Khan and sees little chance they would fight each other.
“They have speed and power. They have good work ethic,” Roach said. “They are great role models for everybody in the world. They are great at what they do because they work at it.
“They are friends and they respect each other. I don’t see it happening. There are a lot of other fights out there and we will look forward to them.”
The fight that might motivate Khan to stay in the 140-pound division would be rival champion Bradley in what would be a unification showdown.
Khan taunted Bradley after his weigh-in for a Pacquiao undercard fight earlier this month, a fight Bradley took after saying no to facing Khan.
“I just wanted to make him realize I’m not scared. I want to make the fight,” Khan said.
“If that fight is there it’s worth me staying in this division. If he will man up and fight me, I’ll fight him anywhere. If not I’ll go up. I just need new motivation. I want to face new fighters and have new motivation.”
But first, he must take care of business against Peterson.
“My power and speed, I don’t think he can cope with that,” Khan said. “I don’t care what he brings to the fight, I’m going to be ready.”
And Khan is not worried about judging in his rival’s hometown.
“We’ve trained to go the distance,” Khan said. “If it goes the distance, I’m sure we’re going to win the fight so convincingly that there’s only going to be one winner and that’s going to be me.”