Boxing: Amir is offered £2m carrot to turn pro

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The Independent Online

The chances of Amir Khan going for Olympic gold in Beijing seem to have disappeared. Nor is it now likely he will compete in this year's World Amateur Championships or face his Cuban Olympic conqueror, Mario Kindelan, in a rematch. Instead, he is set to turn professional this spring.

The chances of Amir Khan going for Olympic gold in Beijing seem to have disappeared. Nor is it now likely he will compete in this year's World Amateur Championships or face his Cuban Olympic conqueror, Mario Kindelan, in a rematch. Instead, he is set to turn professional this spring.

But who with? The most probable scenario would see him joining Britain's top promoter, Frank Warren, and making his paid debut on the Kostya Tszyu-Ricky Hatton world light-welterweight title bill on 5 June, which could be in his home town, Bolton, at the Reebok Stadium. Amir boxes in the ABA Divisional Championships in Preston on 7 February and is scheduled to appear four days later on Warren's inaugural pro-am bill at the MEN Arena in Manchester.

However, I understand that Amir and his growing entourage of advisers are also considering an astonishing and head-turning offer of £2 million from another promoter, the relatively unknown Robert Waterman.

Waterman, a Londoner who manages the undefeated Russian-Israeli heavyweight prospect Roman Greenberg, previously has promoted mainly at small halls yet apparently is hopeful of securing a terrestrial TV contract for Amir with BBC or ITV. But Warren's proven track record and the backing of Sky and his Sports Network organisation must put him in the driving seat for the much-sought-after signature of the 18-year-old Olympic light-weight silver medallist.

Warren settled details for Hatton's title challenge at a meeting with Tszyu's manager, Vlad Wharton, on Friday. This will now be formally announced on Wednesday.

Another British fighter in line for a big-money world title showdown is 27-year-old Scott Harrison, the WBO featherweight champion who defends against the skilful but light-punching veteran Victor Polo at Glasgow's Braehead Arena on Friday.

Should Harrison, reputedly the hardest man in British boxing, account for the 34-year-old Colombian, as anticipated, he is in line for a unifying title bout in Las Vegas against the WBC/IBF champion Marco Antonio Barrera, who, as Naseem Hamed will testify, would really test the Scot's mettle.

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