Boxing: Khan handed Kotelnik world title fight
Thursday 09 April 2009
Amir Khan will fight for a proper world title just months after it looked like his journey from idol to contender to obscurity was over.
Khan, who is still only 22, will meet Ukraine's Andriy Kotelnik for the World Boxing Association light- welterweight championship at the 02 in London on 27 June.
It will be Khan's first fight at light-welterweight, but people close to the boxer have spoken in private of the need for him to gain the five crucial pounds and move from the lightweight division, where he is ranked inside the top 10 of all four recognised sanctioning organisations.
Last September Khan was stopped after only 54 seconds of the opening round at the MEN Arena in Manchester when he met Colombia's Breidis Prescott. In the equally brutal aftermath Khan sacked his trainer, who was his third since the 2004 Olympics in Athens, where he won silver, and moved to Los Angeles to work with the outspoken Freddie Roach. No one blamed the loss on the weight-making process, which often requires boxers to lose 30 or even 40 pounds, but Roach has spoken of his need to monitor Khan's weight carefully.
"Amir has shown what type of fighter he is by coming back from the loss," said Frank Warren, the boxer's promoter. "The Kotelnik fight is a tremendous opportunity for Amir and it will be tremendous for the British boxing business."
Khan beat the Irishman Oisin Fagan last December and forced a stoppage because of a badly gashed head against Marco Antonio Barrera last month to complete Warren's carefully plotted journey back to profile and contention. Kotelnik, who is 31 and about three inches shorter than Khan, is not an easy option and has made two defences of his title and lost just twice in 34 fights.
Latest in Sport
Angel Di Maria reveals wish to return to Argentina - but don't worry Manchester United fans...
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Husain Abdullah penalised after celebrating a touchdown with a Muslim prayer - causing mass outrage among fans
Robin van Persie reveals Louis van Gaal wants Manchester United to 'be more Dutch and pull on the same rope'
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
- 1 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 2 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 4 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 5 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a quailed Teacher ...
£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Currently looking for teachers ...
£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...
£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...