Boxing: Warren plans Khan world title route
Monday 07 April 2008
Frank Warren will sit down today in his office surrounded by boxing record books and paintings of fighting legends and look for inspiration to help him plan Amir Khan's next fight.
On Saturday night at the Bolton Arena, Khan somehow ended up with a red mark across his nose which seemed to prove that he had been in a professional boxing contest. Khan stopped the Danish fighter Martin Kristjansen in round seven and the World Boxing Organisation graced the fight with the status of world championship eliminator.
Khan, as usual, seldom put a foot wrong against an opponent whose record was, according to the slick men in suits back in San Juan, Puerto Rico, who run the WBO, worthy of a higher ranking than Khan. But the hero of Bolton, an Olympic silver medallist at the tender age of 17, overcame the Dane to triumph and secure the WBO's No 1 spot and, in doing so, sent his devoted fans into the night happy.
It was not a fight packed with thrills and twists because Khan was so dominant – which has been the case in almost every round of every single one of his 17 professional fights. He is still only 21 and desperate for a world title fight, and that is why Warren will need to put on his thinking cap, put the calls on hold and identify a route to a title that is both safe and credible.
"I would like to see him in another fight in June," admitted Warren, who in the past has come close to losing his cool in his attempts to slow down Khan's progress. Warren is a pragmatist and he knows just what every one of the fighters he has ever handled can and cannot do.
"Amir is in the No 1 spot now and we will wait to see what happens because it is a bit of a mess at the moment," Warren continued. "There is a lot of interest in Amir in America and I know that he wants a world title fight, and he wants it now. But it's not just about the world title and winning it – a lot depends on who is about at the time."
The most likely outcome of Warren's planning is that the WBO lightweight title will fall vacant, and negotiations will start in earnest to make sure that Khan gets his chance sooner rather than later.
After Saturday's fight Khan said he would call off a Commonwealth title defence against Jon Thaxton, who was hammered by Yuri Romanov on Friday. Expect Khan, Warren and the WBO to come to some type of agreement before June.
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