Crawford vs Khan: Amir Khan confident of beating Terence Crawford in welterweight world title showdown
By Neel Khagram
Amir Khan admits he “could not turn down the opportunity” to face WBO welterweight title-holder Terence Crawford.
The former unified super-lightweight world champion had been strongly linked to face fellow Brit Kell Brook next, but instead chose to face pound-for-pound star Crawford on April 20, in America, at a venue yet to be announced, for the chance to become a two-weight king.
“Winning this fight, people will remember me as a great champion,” Khan said to BBC Sport.
“I kept thinking the Brook fight would be the next one until I got a phone call from [promoter] Bob Arum saying 'would you want to fight Crawford?'
"Looking at the way he fights and what he has achieved, I couldn't say no to it. It is a massive fight.
"Normally every fight I go into, I am the favourite. This is a fight at my own division where I am not the favourite, which takes a lot off pressure of me and means I will work harder to prove a point. This is a fight I can win."
Crawford is regarded as one of the best fighters in the world having captured world titles in three different weight divisions.
The undefeated 31-year-old will be making the second defence of the 147lbs strap he won against Jeff Horn last year, but Khan claims he is undaunted at the task ahead of him, and says he is not short of motivation at the opportunity presented to him.
“I needed a fight to motivate me to work hard and train hard,” he said.
"Against [Samuel] Vargas and [Phil] Lo Grego it was hard to motivate myself. This fight against Crawford will motivate me and make me work hard.
“Outside of [Saul] Alvarez, this is the biggest test.”
By Neel Khagram
Jarrell Miller will challenge for Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight titles ‘at the right time’, says Dmitriy Salita
Bermane Stiverne says he will be a ‘nightmare’ opponent for Joe Joyce
By Neel Khagram
Bermane Stiverne has vowed to “knockout” Joe Joyce and get himself back into heavyweight title contention.
The former WBC world champion has not fought since being stopped by Deontay Wilder in November 2017, but claims he will have too much experience for his British opponent when they meet on February 23, on the James DeGale-Chris Eubank Jr undercard, at London’s O2 Arena.
“The real Bermane Stiverne will be there on February 23 and will knockout Joe Joyce en route to regaining my heavyweight crown,” Stiverne said.
“I have stopped Chris Arreola, Ray Austin, the then undefeated Kerston Manswell – and a boxer with seven fights wants to box me? I said to [promoter] Don [King] ‘Sign it, take it, grab it.’
“For me it is a dream come true, but for Joyce it will be a nightmare. I will knock out Joe Joyce and step over him to KO Anthony Joshua. I’m primed and ready.”
Joyce, a silver medalists at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has won all seven of his professional contests inside the distance.
‘The Juggernaut’ admits that he cannot overlook a former world king, but says that his work-rate and strength will be the difference on the night.
“He is a former world champion that has gone 12 rounds with Deontay Wilder and will give me a real challenge, but my engine and my power will be too much for him, a fact he should be aware of,” Joyce said.
“I had respect for Bermane Stiverne. We sparred in Las Vegas; he said he took me to school in an interview etc, it got ugly and it made this fight happen. I tried to be respectful of him, but he’s rude and was having none of it.”