Boxing: Ambitious Khan hops channels and crosses the Atlantic

Amir Khan makes his last appearance on ITV next Saturday and is likely to deliver a swift parting shot. This will be aimed in the direction of the former British super-featherweight champion Michael Gomez, the fourth challenger for Khan's Commonwealth lightweight title.

Their meeting at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena has all the portents of a very brief encounter, so viewers are advised not to blink. At 30, Gomez has known better days. While he can still bang a bit, his recent record does not suggest that he can withstand Khan's punching velocity for long.

With ITV hanging up their boxing gloves because of their heavy financial investment in football and motor racing, Khan is now set to go channel-hopping. Promoter Frank Warren hints at "some terrestrial exposure", which could see him featured on the BBC or perhaps Five. It is possible that any deal might also involve Setanta, who are now cornering the fight game's satellite market. Khan is the only fighter in Warren's Sports Network stable who is not currently available to them.

Saturday's fight is also Khan's last under a three-year contract with Warren which has seen him progress from Olympic silver medallist to unbeaten Commonwealth champion and a leading world-title contender who is bracketed with Wayne Rooney, Lewis Hamilton and his palAndy Murray among Britain's wealthiest young sports stars.

Apparently Khan has yet to sign a new contract, but Warren says: "Amir and I are cool. We are very happy with what we've got. Let's get this fight out of the way and all will be revealed in a few weeks. We can't make any plans yet because Gomez is capable of upsetting them."

True enough, because it takes only one right-hander to wreck a dream. On the face of it this seems something of a mismatch, yet it could turn out to be a blood-and-thunder battle – while it lasts. Catching Khan before he settles is Gomez's only hope, and the Manchester-based Irishman will certainly give it a go. But while he may have the desire, it is doubtful he has the durability.

Some boxing insiders say that Gomez, with 24 KOs in 43 fights but stopped three times in his previous seven bouts, is shot. But he can still fire the occasional bullet himself. "I'll take Khan out of his comfort zone to places he doesn't want to be," vows the colourful character whose most famous victory was savaging Scotland's Alex Arthur, though that was five years ago.

Since then Arthur has been installed as a world champion whereas Gomez's last fight was a six-rounder against Baz Carey, who was the second of Khan's 17 victims so far.

Apart from channel-hopping, the 21-year-old Khan is also embarking on a transatlantic crossing, seeking a new trainer in the US after splitting with Oliver Harrison. For this fight he has been tutored in his Bolton gym by matchmaker Dean Powell. "We've worked well together," says Khan. "Gomez is a good fighter who hits hard and I know he will come at me like crazy, all guns blazing. But Dean has taught me how to use my feet better."

One hopes that Powell has also been advising Khan on how to keep his chin out of harm's way. Curiously, a lack of head movement seems to be a trait among former top amateurs such as Khan, Audley Harrison, David Haye and Kevin Mitchell.

All leave themselves open to head punches. Could this be because the use of headguards has bred a disregard for ahigh-held defence?

Gomez may seem a bit of an old banger and an easy target, but Khan will still need to keep his hands up and his chin down.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
British musician Mark Ronson arrives for the UK premiere of the film 'Mortdecai'
music
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us