Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime
Amir Khan is well aware of the opportunities that potentially await him, namely lucrative future bouts against Floyd Mayweather or even Manny Pacquiao.
However, he also realizes that nothing will come to fruition if he fails to take care of business on May 3, when he squares of with Luis Collazo for the vacant WBC Silver welterweight title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The bout, which marks the British boxer’s 147-pound debut, is the evening’s featured undercard attraction before Mayweather squares off with Marcos Maidana in the main event. Additionally, Adrien Broner will square off with Carlos Molina in a light welterweight tilt.
Even with the larger-than-life Mayweather looming on the same card, Khan does not have the luxury of looking too far ahead.
“I’m just taking this fight seriously and taking it a step at a time because we made that mistake before -- where we’d be looking too far ahead,” Khan recently told Sherdog.com.
Although he enters his showdown with Collazo on a two-fight winning streak, memories of a 2012 technical knockout loss to Danny Garcia linger. Collazo, who is coming off a second-round knockout of Victor Ortiz, has demonstrated the ability to test his opponent’s chin should Khan become too careless.
“It’s going to be an exciting fight; I’m looking forward to this fight,” Khan said. “I’m going against a tough guy who’s coming off a good win against Victor Ortiz, and he believes he can win this fight. We’ve got to prove him wrong. It’s on a big show -- the Mayweather card -- so I’m looking forward to [making] a statement and putting on a great show with a good performance.”
The meeting with Collazo will mark Khan’s third fight under the guidance of trainer Virgil Hunter; the 27-year-old parted ways with Freddie Roach following the loss to Garcia. Although Khan has posted victories over Carlos Molina and Julio Diaz while working with Hunter, he believes his best is yet to come.
“In the last fight we didn’t really show much, but it’s only been a few months with Virgil,” Khan said. “But this time I’ve spent a lot of time with Virgil -- spent a lot of time in training camp. I’ve come into this fight like a new fighter because I’ve improved my style and skills and fighting style.”
Khan added that the transition from Roach to Hunter has improved his overall approach in the ring.
“I’ve been more patient -- not making mistakes and just being smart,” he said. “I’m not just going in there and throwing shots....I’m seeing openings and preparing my attacks.”
With that in mind, Khan said he is also fully prepared to go 12 rounds against his opponent. The Olympic silver medalist believes that as long as he adheres to a disciplined game plan, things will go his way. Whether that includes a future date with one of boxing’s biggest names remains to be seen.
In Khan’s mind, it can’t hurt to share a card with the man he eventually hopes to face.
“It definitely builds my name up,” he said. “People will be like, ‘Who’s the guy who’s fighting Mayweather? Maidana.’ And they’re gonna say, ‘Amir Khan beat him.’ And they’re gonna say, ‘Who’s the guy fighting Broner? Amir Khan beat the guy [who’s fighting] Broner.’
“So I’ve beaten [two of the] guys who are at the top of the bill. It puts me in a good position because people want to see who’s fighting. They want to see me live.”