Boxing: Khan can only watch as Grant picks up amateur title
Saturday 19 March 2005
Amir Khan was on the wrong side of the ropes last night and watched in silence as Michael Grant won the light welterweight Amateur Boxing Association of England title at the ExCel Centre in London's Docklands with a 16-14 points win over 18-year-old Jamie Cox.
In theory, Khan and Grant, 21, who are arguably the best two at their weight in the country, should have both been in the ring last night.
But a few weeks ago, Khan withdrew from the championship over a ticketing dispute.
"I had to stay focused when I heard that Khan had pulled out but in my opinion, I would have beaten him tonight and I would love to fight him before he turns professional," Grant said.
There is a way to get both Khan and Grant in the same ring and that is to match the pair on 16 April when Khan has his final bout as an amateur at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton.
"I would fight Grant in Bolton but he would have to put his ABA title on the line to make it worthwhile," said Khan, somewhat bizarrely.
Khan's absence certainly affected the gate but not the quality of last night's 11 finals. Perhaps the best two on display were James Degale, who won at middleweight, and Birmingham's Frankie Gavin, who won at lightweight.
Both boxers are just 19 and are leading contenders for next year's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
History was made last night when twins Darran and Stewart Langley, from the Hollington Club in South London, won the light flyweight and flyweight titles respectively. In the past, brothers have won titles on the same night, but never twins.
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