At about 1am last Sunday Amir Khan, his father, his uncle and about six of his friends arrived at the Primetime studio in Docklands for his appearance on the sofa next to me for the Floyd Mayweather fight. Khan had come straight from a charity night, his own as it turned out, at a London hotel.
He is in the mix for a Mayweather fight and watched suitably impressed as the American won easily. He was less impressed with Mayweather swearing at his father, burning $100 bills and acting like a fool during the fight's publicity footage. "He's not a bad guy away from all this," Khan said. "I met him at a shopping mall in Hollywood and he was cool."
Khan will defend his two world titles next on 10 December, probably in Montreal, and definitely against the American Lamont Peterson; he then plans a fight in Britain in May. Both fights stand a good chance of being on Primetime, who sold over 40,000 pay-per-views for the nocturnal fisticuffs.
"I want Floyd and I know that he would rather handpick somebody else," Khan said. "Floyd knows that I have the brain in the ring to cause him problems."
Khan's promoter, Richard Schaefer from Golden Boy, will be pitching his fighter to Mayweather this week hoping to get an agreement. "Floyd will fight again soon and I want it to be Khan," insisted Schaefer. But "soon" in Mayweather's eyes could be 18 months, as he has fought only three times since beating Ricky Hatton in 2007.
Haye does the rounds in search of a Klitschko – but which one?
The deposed heavyweight king of the world David Haye was ringside in Las Vegas for the Mayweather fight. The weekend before, he had a ticket for Vitali Klitschko's world title fight in Poland but stayed at home; it never stopped him being linked with Vitali in a fight early next year.
"I've read all sorts of nonsense about David against Vitali but I can tell you that a fight has not been discussed," insisted Haye's trainer and promotional partner, Adam Booth. "I have to speak to the Klitschko people because there are financial details still to be sorted from David's fight with Wlad. That's it... at the moment."
Haye, meanwhile, could soon have to deal with a verbal challenge from Tyson Fury, whose gloriously entertaining fight on Channel 5 on Saturday night peaked at 1.6 million viewers before the screens went blank in some homes due to a technical glitch.
How old-school Duff taught my brave young self a few lessons
Duke McKenzie was another midnight guest for the Mayweather fight and he arrived with a sad look in his eyes.
"I've just been to see Mickey [Duff] and it's broke my heart," said little Duke who, under Duff's old-school guidance, won world titles at three different weights.
Duff was for 30 years the top promoter in Europe and was involved in hundreds of major fights all over the world. It's rumoured he carried a German flag when Muhammad Ali fought there in 1966, which, considering his family left Poland in the Thirties to avoid persecution, seemed a bit strange. He didn't, by the way, carry the flag. "Nobody asked," he joked.
Duff is now 82 and has been suffering from Alzheimer's for a few years and he is living in a care home called Nightingale House in Clapham, south London.
Mickey and I had a lively relationship and I started writing about boxing when he was the only show in town. I was, as he said to me once, "a bit brave". Inevitably, he sued me successfully and for about three years I was banned from his shows, but not from his company. One night, a year or so before he was awarded victory in court and a nice few quid, I dropped Mickey back to his flat in Marble Arch after a fight in Essex.
"You know," he told me. "I don't want to do this."
"Well, don't then. Drop it," I said.
"No, I've got to – you took a liberty." Thanks for that, Mickey.Reuse content