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Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Friday, 16 January 2009

Khan to face ring legend Barrera

Amir Khan
Warren said Khan was "champing at the bit" for the fight

Amir Khan will meet seven-time world champion Marco Antonio Barrera on 14 March at Manchester's MEN Arena.

The 34-year-old Mexican is a former champion at three weights and has won 64 of his 71 fights.

"I was a fan and I am a fan - but when you're in the ring, you have no respect for any of your opponents, you go in and do a job," Khan told BBC Sport.

"I think I've got everything to beat him. With my youth and speed, I think I'll just outbox him."

Also on the bill, Nicky Cook defends his WBO super-featherweight title against unbeaten Puerto Rican Roman Martinez, who is the mandatory challenger, while Enzo Maccarinelli is expected to fight for the vacant WBO cruiserweight title.

Squaring up to Barrera is undoubtedly the biggest test that Khan, 22, has faced so far in his career.

"I think he's made for me," added Khan. "He's shorter than me, and has moved up quickly to lightweight."

Last time out in December, Khan beat Irishman Oisin Fagan in his first bout since suffering the first loss of his career against Breidis Prescott last September.

The Olympic lightweight silver medallist split from trainer Jorge Rubio after that defeat and is now guided by Freddie Roach.

Barrera, who inflicted Prince Naseem Hamed's first career defeat back in 2001, won his first world title in 1995, and has faced the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez and Erik Morales.

Khan said he would seek Hamed's advice and learn from the former world champion's mistakes.

"I'm sure Naseem knows what mistakes he made and will tell me the mistakes that he doesn't want me to make," he said.

"Nas is a great guy so I'll have a chat with him and see what he thinks."

Warren said he had initially been looking to match Barrera with another of his fighters, and admitted it was a bit of a gamble.

"A lot of people might look at this and think 'he's in the deep end here' - maybe, but I believe with good punchers in the ring it's all about timing, and outside the ring it's about picking the right moment and right time - I hope I've got it right," he told BBC Sport.

"I don't worry about his fitness or punching power, all I wonder about is Amir staying focused and his head movement.

"Provided he does that, I think Amir can give a great display and beat Barrera."

see also
Can Barrera turn back time?
16 Jan 09 |  Boxing
Khan back on track
07 Dec 08 |  Boxing
Khan knocked out in first round
06 Sep 08 |  Boxing
Barrera suffers shock defeat
16 Nov 03 |  Boxing
Barrera drains Hamed's colour
08 Apr 01 |  Boxing
Hamed beaten in Las Vegas
08 Apr 01 |  Boxing

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