Inside Lines: After the Khanage, Amir set for US debut with pal Pacman
Sunday 13 December 2009
Following his 76-second dismantling of Dmitry Salita, Amir Khan is set to get the US exposure he craves.
Negotiations are under way for him to defend his WBA light-welterweight title on the undercard of boxing's super-fight between his new best friend and stablemate Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather jnr on 13 March. The venue and opponent have yet to be determined. Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas and New Orleans all want to stage boxing's $100 million showdown. Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, outboxed by Mayweather, and American Juan Diaz are possible candidates to oppose Khan – and neither would be an easy Juan.
The mouthwatering collision between six-weight champion Pacman and flamboyant Floyd will be jointly promoted by Bob Arum and Oscar de La Hoya's Golden Boy. So where would this leave Frank Warren, the British promoter who has so astutely nurtured him from Olympic silver medallist to world champion in three years? Khan insists he wants Warren to continue to be involved but the promoter is understandably miffed at reports that he will now be used "as a consultant" by the recently formed Khan Promotions. "We have to sit down together because there's a lot of talking to be done," he says. It would be a travesty if Khan, 23, followed Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe in ditching the man who made them rich and famous in a business that can be as brutal out of the ring as in it.
Pushing the wrong Button?
The bookies reckon Jenson Button is in overdrive at 11-10 on to capture tonight's BBC SPOTY award. If this is the case, let's hope he shows rather more enthusiasm than he apparently did in his acceptance via video of the Sports Journalists' Association version last week. He might even turn up for this one, being aware of the BBC's huge investment in Formula One. Not that this will influence the "independently scrutinised" voting but it will be a blow to the Beeb if Button doesn't win. Be nice though, if Ryan Giggs – or anyone – can sneak home ahead of him, a thought which might even prise viewers from ITV.
Skating gets the cold shoulder
In the dancing years of Torvill and Dean, ice skating was a regular highlight of the BBC awards. Alas, the sport seems to have disappeared through a hole in the ice despite the valiant efforts of Scotland's brother-and-sister act John and Sinead Kerr (pictured). They are a delightful couple but even as European champions have only an outside chance of a medal in the upcoming Winter Olympics. Shame about skating, which once had such popular appeal here but is not helping itself with wretched PR. I'm told officials tried to block the media from talking to competitors at the recent British Championships in Sheffield – and this is a sport which needs all the publicity it can muster to get out of the deep freeze. Brrr...
Walker not snookered
Sir Rodney Walker, ousted after five years by the world snooker body, leaves them £3.3 million better off, a situation which has not gone unnoticed by the Tories. Expect the ubiquitous Yorkshireman, 66, who has successfully chaired numerous sports bodies from rugby league to Wembley, to be offered another key administrative post should they win the election.
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