• Boxing

Khan hits back at his critics

ESPN staff
May 12, 2010
Amir Khan is in training for his Paulie Malignaggi fight © Getty Images

Amir Khan has hit back at those who have suggested that he is cherry-picking his opponents by insisting there is no-one he will not take on.

The WBA light-welterweight champion defends his belt against Paulie Malignaggi - not a man renowned for his ferocious punching power - on May 15th in his first bout in America.

He has come in for criticism ahead of that fight - most notably from unbeaten Brit Kevin Mitchell, who has accused Khan of ducking his challenge. "I don't think the fight will happen as he sees me as too much of a threat," Mitchell said.

"He will keep picking the easy fights like he has done with Paulie Malignaggi, who couldn't crack an egg with a brick. Amir doesn't want to fight anyone who can punch."

Questions about Khan's in-ring durability surfaced after he was knocked out after 54 seconds by iron-fisted Colombian Breidis Prescott, his only loss in 23 professional fights.

Khan has acknowledged that he had a vulnerability earlier in his career, but he insists that trainer Freddie Roach has helped him eradicate any flaws - and that he will fight all comers.

"Whoever wants to fight me, just tell them to line up, I'll fight all of them," Khan said. "I'm ready, I'll hopefully get this guy out of the way and my American debut out the way and then I'll be ready for all the other fighters in the division and we'll just go from there.

"Freddie's a brilliant trainer. Everyone can see the changes in me since I've been with him. We've worked on using the defence at the right time, blocking shots and not taking too many shots. I used to fight using the heart - I had a good boxing brain, but never used it. Freddie has got me using my brains."

In other boxing news, Manny Pacquiao has confirmed that he will re-enter the ring in November. No negotiations are currently taking place with any potential opponents.

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