Khan confident of defending title against Maidana

Los Angeles: Britain`s WBA champion Amir Khan says his superior speed and punching power will make the difference when he defends his super lightweight title against Marcos Maidana in his first Las Vegas fight.

The 23-year-old Bolton fighter, who is based in California, last fought in May when he defeated American Paulie Malignaggi in New York.

Khan, 23-1 17 KOs, will fight Maidana, his mandatory challenger, on December 11 at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino.

"We know exactly what to do and how to beat him," Khan said at a news conference Tuesday at the Congo Room club in downtown Los Angeles. "People say he is a big hitter but I hit just as hard with speed.”

"I think I am going to come in as a bigger puncher I have the power to put him down."

Maidana, 27, is regarded as a dangerous fighter having racked up a record of 29 wins and one defeat with 27 knockouts.

"I want to be in the best form of my life. I got this opportunity and I want to make the best of it," Argentina`s Maidana said Tuesday.

Khan, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist, said he doesn`t get enough credit for his punching power.

"I am not scared of him (Maidana) or anyone. Do I look scared? It is a big challenge for me but I am excited and feel confident. I will put him in his place."

Maidana`s trainer Miguel Diaz said both fighters are in their prime.

"It will be a tremendous fight. They are not over the hill at 34 or 35 years old. They are in the prime of their careers."

Khan had wanted to take the fight to England but made concessions to get the contract signed.

"I really wanted to fight in England but this is a bigger fight in the US," he said.

Khan left immediately after the news conference to travel to the Philippines to train with Manny Pacquiao and legendary boxing trainer Freddie Roach. He will also be heading to Dallas next month for Pacquiao`s world title fight at Cowboys Stadium against Antonio Margarito.

Khan will do some light sparring with Pacquiao in the Philippines but the main purpose of the trip is to work with Roach on technique.

"Freddie knows what technique to use and what game plan to follow to win a fight," Khan said.

Khan will be fighting for just the second time in the United States. He stopped Malignaggi in the 11th round of a one-sided fight.

Both Khan and Maidana fought Andreas Kotelnik in 2009. Maidana, who has 23 KOs in the first three rounds, has won four consecutive fights since dropping a split decision to Kotelnik in February. Just five months later, Khan beat Kotelnik in 12 rounds for the WBA title.

Khan`s younger brother, Haroon Khan, is competing at the Commonwealth Games in India fighting for Pakistan and saying he had been snubbed by England boxing officials. The 19-year-old boxer is fighting under the name Haroon Iqbal rather than Khan.

Khan said he spoke to his brother over the phone and gave him some advice.

"I told him the hard work and training he has put in is going to pay off."

Khan said Haroon had no other choice but to fight for Pakistan.

"It is good for him to go to the Commonwealth Games regardless of fighting for Pakistan. If he wasn`t fighting for Pakistan he wouldn`t have had the chance to fight in the Commonwealth Games. He would not have gotten the experience."

Khan said it was a mistake not to take Haroon for the England team.

"It is one of those things," Khan said. "He wasn`t even on the second team or the third team. When he has already won the nationals and they don`t pick him, then there is something wrong there."

Bureau Report