• Welterweight

Khan: I'm learning to fight dirty

ESPN staff
May 6, 2014
Amir Khan passed blood in his urine after a low blow from Luiz Collazo © AP

Amir Khan has admitted he needs to learn how to fight dirty with the best of them after winning his welterweight debut on Saturday.

During an impressive victory over Luis Collazo in Las Vegas, Khan suffered a blatant low blow that went unpunished and saw him pass blood in his urine, while he also had to have blood drained from his ears with syringes at hospital after the bout.

Khan's trainer Virgil Hunter has already tried toughening him up and Khan, 27, says he is now becoming wiser to the roughhouse tactics and is ready to fight fire with fire.

"Virgil told me to stand up for myself a bit more, show guys they can't walk over me," Khan said. "If you let guys keep being dirty and you don't do anything, they carry on doing it.

"There comes a time when sometimes you have to rough him up, hold him, or try and get him into the position you want, using a bit of force. It's not like the old days when it was nice and clean.

"He has also got me to complain to the referee. I used to always stay quiet. When people used to stick their head down, I used to lift mine up and look at the referee. That is dangerous because you can get caught by a punch. Now if he puts his head low, I hold him down until the referee breaks us. You have to protect yourself at all times."

Khan is still hoping to fight Floyd Mayweather, who beat Marcos Maidana in the main event of the same card at the MGM Grand Arena.

Maidana has called for a rematch, however, while Khan admits a proposed September date against Mayweather would be problematic due to his Ramadan commitments.

The two could now be poised to square off next May and Khan is expecting a brawl.

"Mayweather fights very dirty," Khan said. "He uses his elbow a lot. He will throw a left hook and then catch you with his elbow. He also pushes back with his forearm. Ricky [Hatton] told me some of the things he does. If you a running into a shot, Mayweather he leans back and leaves the elbows forward, so you catch him on the elbow. He's very clever. Little things like that.

"He holds the arms a lot and his hands are always open when he pushes away, so you can get cut because the inside of the glove is rough.

"He gets away with a lot because he's a superstar, so they are going to let a lot of things go."

"Mayweather wants guys to come forwards and he waits for them to make a mistake. I can play a similar game to him and wait for him to make a mistake. It will be a game of chess.

"The way of beating him is speed, be in and out. He picks guys with single shots, but we throw similar shots, so I can keep away from them.

"The last 12 months you saw a lot of changes in me. A lot more patient, if I didn't need to throw a punch, I didn't throw a punch. I want to keep busy, no long wait this time. I want to press on."

Khan is likely to be back in action by November or December. He added: "It has to be someone who will help keep my name up there.

"I definitely want to fight Floyd and hopefully that can be May next year.

"If I never fight him, it will leave me unfulfilled in my career. But he is the one who calls all the shots. He has enormous influence and likes it that way.

"But everyone I speak to, taxi drivers and the like, they have had enough of him. They all want to see him lose."

"With my skill and speed, I can be that boxer to beat him."

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