WBC silver welterweight champion Amir Khan told BBC on May 28 "there's no point looking at (Floyd) Mayweather" because the fight might never materialize. Instead, he's focusing on his upcoming title defense against American Chris Algieri on May 29.
Amir Khan refuses to be distracted by all the rumors about a potential blockbuster fight with Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
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Instead, Khan told BBC on Thursday he's focusing on his upcoming WBC silver welterweight title defense against Chris Algieri on May 29:
"I've made that mistake before, when you look (at) past fights, but I ain't looking past this fight.
"There's no point looking at Mayweather because that might never happen.
"The guy I'm fighting, the guy I've been working on, the techniques I've been working on is to beat Chris Algieri, not Mayweather, not Pacquiao.
"I've got Chris Algieri. This is going to be a tough fight for me."
Khan believed he was on the verge of taking on Mayweather last year but it never materialized. Mayweather wound up fighting Argentinian Marcos Maidana twice instead, per BBC.
Khan's chances of fighting Mayweather appear to be dwindling as the latter has made his retirement plans known after just one more fight. Mayweather "no longer enjoys the sport," per BBC.
ESPN's Dan Rafael reported on Thursday Mayweather plans to fight once more in 2015. He is zeroing in on a Sept. 12 bout -- the last of a six-fight deal with CBS/Showtime he signed two years ago -- with a still unnamed opponent.
On the other hand, some critics thought the 28-year-old Khan was a goner when he lost consecutive bouts to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia. He promptly severed ties with trainer Freddie Roach after the losses, per BBC.
Khan has rebounded successfully by winning four in a row and 30 of his 33 fights overall. He told BBC he credits new coach Virgil Hunter's tutelage as a key in his resurgence:
"I was with a trainer before who maybe wasn't teaching me the defensive side of boxing.
"I needed to work on a few things and improve as a fighter and being under Virgil, he's done that for me.
"He's made me a better fighter, he's made me understand the sport of boxing and he's taught me the things I needed to be taught.
"Working on my technique, my skills and also when to punch at the right time and when to throw the right punches, the defensive side of boxing, knowing when to defend."
Khan returns to New York for the first time since he first fought on American soil in 2010, when he beat Paulie "The Magic Man" Malignaggi via an 11th-round TKO at Madison Square Garden, per Rafael.
The ESPN update says Khan is a devout Muslim who will observe Ramadan from mid-June to mid-July. It requires Muslims to fast during daylight hours.
With this, Khan hinted he could possibly be ready for a Sept. 12 fight, per ESPN:
"It's possible I could fight in September, yeah. Ramadan is going to be a little bit earlier this year, so obviously it helps, gives me enough time to get the training done and everything. It can happen in September."
The 31-year-old Algieri, who hails from Huntington, N.Y., will be the hometown favorite as the May 29 bout will be at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. He was unimpressive during his WBO light welterweight title fight against Ruslan Provodnikov in June 2014 when he was knocked down twice. Algieri went on to win by split decision, per ESPN.
Algieri moved up to the welterweight division five months later when he took on eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, who knocked him down six times to successfully defend his WBO welterweight title, per Rafael.
Pacquiao relinquished his WBO welterweight crown when he lost to Mayweather on May 2, per ESPN.
After his loss to Pacquiao, Algieri parted ways with trainer Tim Lane. He has been training with former world champion John David Jackson, who also trained undisputed light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev. per Rafael.
Algieri (20-1, 8 KOs) told Rafael on Thursday he feels he's a much better fighter than the one who lost to Pacquiao:
"The only thing that matters is proving something to myself, and I do feel like I have to prove something. I wasn't happy with my last performance at all. I know I belong here at the elite level, and it's time for me to prove it.
"I like to challenge myself, and this is a great opportunity. I'm ready for this. I will challenge anybody in the welterweight division.
"Amir is a tough fighter, there is no doubt about that, but I am very confident in my ability and the game plan that coach has come up with for me."
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