New Delhi: British professional boxer of Pakistan origin, Amir Khan has claimed that it would be a step backwards for him if he fights Vijender Singh.
The two-time world champion made this sensational claim in Mumbai while promoting his recently launched Super Boxing League.
Khan, 30, became a boxing sensation in 2004 when he won the Lightweight silver medal at the Athens Olympics. Then, he was only 17. But he soon turned pro, and has since went onto record a 31-4 om the circuit. In the process, he has managed to link with some of the biggest names in the sport, talking about possible fights against the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
“Vijender has not made a big noise. He hasn’t won a major title, or even half a major title, which will make people regard him as a good fighter,” the Indian Express quoted Khan as saying.
“For me to fight him… it’ll be a step backwards and I’ll get a lot of criticism (if I) fight him. At the moment, it’s politically a good fight because he’s Indian and I’m Pakistani background. But in America or the UK, this fight won’t sell. But if Vijender wins a title and makes a name for himself and then fights me, people will buy the fight. They will want to watch the fight," he added.
For Vijender, who is undefeated in eight outings so far, it will still be a huge upgrade for him to fight the Briton. Khan turned pro in 2005, and has clocked hours in the ring, as against Singh's one-sided eight bouts.
But it wasn't to stop the Indian boxer from challenging the two-time world champion.
And Khan is aware of the huge possibility a bout between an Indian and a boxer of Pakistan origin will bring to the sport, vis-a-vis business.
“From a business point of view, you want to maximise it (the match) and make sure you can make it the best fight. At the moment, because Vijender is not that big, only in India and Pakistan will the fight be big.”