Boxing: Khan lines up Kindelan for amateur exit

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The Independent Online

Amir Khan will box for the last time as an amateur at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton, on 16 April against Mario Kindelan, the Cuban fighter who deprived him of the gold medal in the Olympic final in Athens last August.

Amir Khan will box for the last time as an amateur at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton, on 16 April against Mario Kindelan, the Cuban fighter who deprived him of the gold medal in the Olympic final in Athens last August.

At a press conference in London today, Khan, his father, Shah, his advisor, Asif Vali, and his new professional promoter, Frank Warren, intend to outline the deal that has put an end to the 18-year-old's amateur career.

The speculation surrounding Khan's future started during the Olympics last year, and his father and his agent have created a cottage industry denying the rumours ever since.

Khan's last fight will be a fundraising event to generate enough cash to leave his amateur coach, Mick Jelley, and the Bury Amateur Boxing club that Jelley has run for 40 years, financially secure. However, as Khan fast approaches the twists and turns of the professional boxing circuit, there could yet be a glorious ending to his amateur career.

It is known that Kindelan, a double Olympic champion, will travel with a Cuban national team to Britain in April for two international matches. The initial plan was for Khan to meet Kindelan, but that prospect was scuppered when Khan withdrew from the amateur domestic championship because of a dispute over tickets.

However, Warren now claims to have agreed a deal with the Amateur Boxing Association whereby Kindelan will fight Birmingham's newly-crowned ABA lightweight champion Frankie Gavin in a Four Nations versus Cuba clash at Liverpool Olympia on 8 April. Then he is set to be excused his place in the Cuban team for a scheduled match in Dublin against a British Isles squad on 15 April and will meet Khan in Bolton the following night instead.

Warren said last night: "We have done the deal and Amir is going to get the chance to get revenge against Kindelan in Bolton. It could be Amir's last amateur fight and it could not get any bigger. It is the fight the public wants to see."

A television deal had not yet been agreed but ITV are strongly rumoured to be interested.

Meanwhile, Scott Harrison will put his World Boxing Organisation featherweight title on the line against Michael Brodie at Manchester's MEN Arena on 3 June. The fight takes place the night before Ricky Hatton's world light-welterweight title bout with Kostya Tszyu at the same venue. Harrison must seize the chance to impress television viewers on both sides of the Atlantic following his fortunate draw against Victor Polo in January.

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