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Page last updated at 13:45 GMT, Sunday, 19 July 2009 14:45 UK

Khan would fight 'friend' Hatton

Amir Khan
Khan celebrates becoming WBA light-welterweight champion

Newly-crowned WBA light-welterweight champion Amir Khan says he would put aside his friendship with Ricky Hatton to face him in the ring.

Khan eased to a unanimous points win over Andreas Kotelnik on Saturday night to become world champion, aged only 22.

Now speculation is growing that Khan could next meet former champion Hatton.

"We're good friends, but business is business. In Britain, I think it would be a huge fight that the public would want to see," said Khan.

"I'm a fan of Ricky Hatton and I like him to be in my corner, supporting me all the way and for me to achieve what he has achieved.

"But boxing is a game where you have to face fighters.

"We'll see what happens. If my trainer Freddie Roach thinks it's the right move for me to make, then I'm going to make that move."

606: DEBATE
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However, Khan's promoter, Frank Warren, is less enthusiastic about the prospect of putting his charge in the ring with Hatton, who he feels would do better to retire than to fight on.

Hatton suffered a brutal second-round defeat in his IBO light-welterweight world title bout against Manny Pacquiao in May.

And Warren, who used to promote the Mancunian, feels he should hang up his gloves to safeguard his long-term health.

"From a personal point of view, Ricky Hatton shouldn't be fighting," said Warren.

"It's not good for boxing and more importantly it's not good for him.

"Financially it is a great fight and I think Ricky would get stopped again by Amir. I don't think Ricky could cope with that pace.

"I don't think he should fight again, but if he wants to do it then I'm sure it could happen.

"But from his health point of view, he should definitely retire."

Khan's trainer Roach agreed with Warren that Khan would prove far too sharp for 30-year-old Hatton and he insisted he would take the fight "in a heartbeat".

Roach, who also trains Pacquiao, said: "After the Pacquiao fight I said Hatton should retire.

"He's a multi world champion and has nothing left to prove. To get knocked out like he did against Pacquiao was devastating.

"If he decides to fight again and continue his career, he is made for my guy (Khan) and I would take that fight in a heartbeat."



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