Freddie Roach backs Amir for the big time
FREDDIE Roach has backed Amir Khan to become a multi-weight world champion – and knock out Dmitriy Salita when the pair meet in Newcastle on December 5.
Khan will make the first defence of his WBA light-welterweight world title at the Metro Radio Arena against the unbeaten, New York-based Ukrainian.
And Roach thinks that the fight will be the first of many successful nights for Khan – at a variety of different weights.
“Amir has got the body frame to go up through the divisions,” said Roach. “Things were a little uncomfortable at 135 pounds but I’m much happier now that he has gone to 140.
“But later in his career he can fight and win world titles at welterweight or even middleweight as he gets bigger.”
Roach, who has been in Khan’s corner for his last three fights, believes that the fight against Salita will be tough, but is backing his man to emerge victorious.
“I think that Amir will wear him down and get a stoppage in the later rounds,” said Roach. “But Salita will be dangerous and we’ll have to be careful.”
Meanwhile Khan has promised Newcastle fight fans an exciting night in two week’s time.
“I think this is going to be the kind of fight where you don’t want to blink because you might miss something,” he said.
“Salita is an exciting fighter and I am an exciting fighter so it’s going to edge of your seat stuff in Newcastle. I don’t know whether the fight is going to last one round or 12 rounds but there will be fireworks for sure.”
Khan, who is spending an increasing amount of time in the USA, is keen to make his debut in the States if he comes through unscathed against Salita.
And he says that since he became world champion, the options open to him have multiplied.
“I heard that Zab Judah wants to come back down to 140 pounds and was calling me out at a press conference the other day,” said Khan.
“12 months ago I was the one talking about fighting these kind of opponents, but now the boot is on the other foot and people see me as the man to beat.
“It’s very flattering really, but I’ve always said that I’ll fight whoever is in front of me.”
One man Khan is unlikely to ever meet in the ring is gym-mate Manny Pacquiao – he says their common trainer in Roach is a stumbling block that won’t be overcome – but he hasn’t ruled out a fight with Ricky Hatton.
“I think Ricky should come back and try and get over that defeat he had in his last fight,” said Khan. “No one wants to go out on a loss.
“Obviously a fight between me and Ricky is one that all of Britain would love to see. Of course I would be interested but we have to cross that bridge when and if we come to it.”