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Page last updated at 07:32 GMT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Khan is vulnerable, says Salita

WBA WORLD LIGHT-WELTERWEIGHT TITLE: Amir Khan v Dmitriy Salita
Venue: Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle Date: Saturday, 5 December (Fight expected to begin about 2300 GMT) Coverage: Sky Sports and full commentary on BBC Radio 5 live

By Nabil Hassan

Dmitriy Salita
Salita is set to face Khan in Newcastle in December

Dmitriy Salita says he intends to take advantage of WBA light-welterweight champion Amir Khan's vulnerable chin when the pair meet on 5 December.

In the bout at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, Ukrainian-born Salita wants to follow Breidis Prescott's example from 2008 by knocking out Khan.

"His chin is definitely an area of vulnerability," Salita told BBC Sport.

"It's not just because of Prescott that he's vulnerable. He has been knocked down a whole bunch of other times."

The 22-year-old has been floored three times in his career, with Willie Limond and Michael Gomez exposing his vulnerability before his shock defeat by Prescott last year.

Khan was knocked out by Prescott in stunning fashion, suffering the first defeat of his 22-fight career in Manchester in 2008.

The Olympic silver medallist was beaten inside 60 seconds by Prescott but has bounced back from that loss.

Since then the Bolton fighter has moved to Los Angeles to team up with revered trainer Freddie Roach in the same gym as the world's best pound-for-pound fighter Manny Pacquiao.

Salita - who is unbeaten in 31 fights, with 16 knockouts - will be the opponent for Khan's first defence of the WBA title he won in July after beating Andreas Kotelnik in Manchester.

It is a step up in class for Salita but the 27-year-old feels it is Khan who will have the nagging doubts going into the fight.

"He definitely has a seed of doubt because of the Prescott defeat," said Salita, who is based in Brooklyn, New York.

606: DEBATE

"Making the move to Freddie was a smart move and helped him win the belt but I'm going to go in there to do my work and eventually he is going to get hit on the chin.

"When he is, we'll see what happens. He's been beaten before and he's going to get beaten by me."

Salita, who is nicknamed the Star of David because of his Jewish roots, still feels a sense of injustice that it was not him who faced Kotelnik earlier in the year when he was the WBA's mandatory challenger.

However, in December he intends to make up for lost time and return home a world champion.

"I am bitter, I feel I should have had that opportunity and it didn't come. So I'm hungry to take my chance now that is finally here," stated Salita.

"I look forward to beating him. I have to be on my A-game and be very sharp. I need to stick to the game plan we have in place and with all the things we have worked on I feel it will be enough to take the belt."

So confident of victory is Salita that he says he will try to tempt Manchester's Ricky Hatton into one last fight if he beats Khan, who has 15 knockouts from his 21 victories.

"I'm focused on 5 December but in the future I'd definitely like a shot at Hatton," added Salita.

"He tipped Khan to beat me so there is extra incentive there.

"Hatton is one of the living legends of our time, a great boxer.

"He beat one of my heroes Kostya Tszyu, who is an incredible fighter. It would be awesome to fight him."



see also
Khan rules out Pacquiao meeting
19 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Khan makes early training return
15 Oct 09 |  Boxing
Khan to fight Salita in Newcastle
06 Oct 09 |  Boxing
Khan would fight 'friend' Hatton
19 Jul 09 |  Boxing
Khan's victory in photos
19 Jul 09 |  Boxing
Emphatic Khan claims world title
18 Jul 09 |  Boxing


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Bettingpro Khan v Salita preview - 12 hrs ago
London Evening Standard Amir Khan backs Ricky Hatton to hit back - 26 hrs ago
Sporting Life KHAN BACKS HITMAN TO HIT BACK - 35 hrs ago
Virgin Media Khan backs Hatton to hit back - 36 hrs ago
Guardian.co.uk Khan refuses to rule out fighting Hatton - 38 hrs ago


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