Amir Khan has revealed he could fight American superstar Floyd Mayweather next year – with the blessing and backing of friend and sparring partner Manny Pacquiao.
The WBA light-welterweight champion from Bolton continues his American adventure in December with a mandatory defence against heavy-handed Argentinian Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas.
Khan, 23, has come on leaps and bounds since relocating to California and joining up with renowned trainer Freddie Roach nearly two years ago, but freely admits he still has progress to make before he is ready to take on the very best.
Maidana will certainly represent a stern test on 11 December – a respected puncher challenging a champion with a reputation for being vulnerable. And while Khan respects the danger posed by the South American brawler, he is also planning for the long-term and revealed a Mayweather showdown is a definite possibility.
Indeed, the Briton has been encouraged by the support of his friend Pacquiao, the pound-for-pound champion, who has somehow failed to agree what would be one of the biggest fights in the history of the sport against Mayweather.
"Manny thinks it will be a good fight because he's trained with me, sparred with me, he really thinks I'm good enough to fight Mayweather now," said Khan. "But I think in the next 12 months, when I get even better and with more experience, I think I'll be in better condition to fight him then.
"This is a timing game and I want to fight him when I think I'm ready, not when he's ready and I'm not. I want to fight him when we're both ready and when I've hit my peak. I think in the next 12 months, that will be an ideal fight for me."
Khan is promoted by American powerhouse promoters Golden Boy, who also staged Mayweather's recent fights, and the Englishman revealed they are keen to make the fight happen.
"Richard Schaefer [Golden Boy chief executive] says it's a fight of the future," added Khan. "He said as long as we both keep winning it would be a huge fight. It's a fight he wants to see made and he thinks I've got the style to beat Mayweather."