Boxing: Khan looks the part for showdown with veteran Judah
Sunday 17 July 2011
Amir Khan is closer to Hollywood than his pal David Haye may ever be. The WBA light-welterweight champion trains deep in the heart of Tinseltown and admits he is acquiring the heady taste of celluloid, with movie stars among regular watchers of his workouts in the Wildcard gym of Freddie Roach.
The cameras have been in close attendance too, filming a three-part documentary to be shown by his new TV paymasters Primetime in the run-up to Khan's fifth title defence against Zab Judah, a mean and dangerous ring war veteran who brings his own IBF belt to the table in Las Vegas next Saturday.
While Haye's thespian aspirations took a knock after losing to Wladimir Klitschko, Khan is already in demand for film parts. "At the moment I want to stay focused on my boxing career," he says, "but later on it is certainly something that could interest me."
Haye will be ringside at Mandalay Bay, where doubtless he will witness a sobering lesson in aggression from Khan and an American whose fights have included Floyd Mayweather Jnr, Miguel Cotto and Micky Ward, immortalised in the recent film The Fighter.
While 33-year-old Judah, a slippery southpaw, has been beaten by six of the best in his 49 fights, he is enjoying a renaissance under his new trainer, former world champ Pernell Whittaker, and presents an hazardous target for Khan's razzle-dazzle cluster-punching. "Khan is meeting a monster," he warns.
Judah doesn't take kindly to defeat either. Controversially stopped in two rounds by Kostya Tszyu, he chucked a ring stool at the ref and was suspended. When he lost on points to Mayweather – whom Khan is ambitiously targeting next year – police had to quell a riot.
"It is a fight that could be a bit dirty and scruffy," says Khan. "But I'm ready for anything that Judah throws at me." Though hopefully not a ring stool.
Khan v Judah is on Primetime PPV (Channel 480 on Sky) and Virgin On Demand, £14.95. Call 0871 200 4444 or www.primetimelive.co.uk
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