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Amir Khan set for US fight debut against Marcos Maidana

Amir Khan
Amir Khan beat Dmitriy Salita in just 76 seconds in December

Britain's Amir Khan may make his debut in the United States in April.

The World Boxing Association says there is a "tentative agreement" for their light-welterweight champion to face Argentine Marcos Maidana in Las Vegas.

The contest is likely to be on the undercard of the fight between Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones Jr at the Mandalay Bay Resort on 17 April.

However, the WBA says there have been discussions about hosting the contest in Manchester.

Khan, who has won 22 of his 23 professional fights and became a world champion last year, signed a deal with United States-based Golden Boy Promotions at the weekend, saying he was keen to build a global fan base.


And following his first-round victory over Dmitriy Salita in December, the Bolton fighter looks set to make his second successive mandatory defence.

A WBA statement read: "A tentative agreement was reached between the parties and it was not necessary for a purse bid for the championship bout between the United Kingdom's Amir Khan and the interim champion, the Argentine Marcos Maidana, as they came to terms.

"The participants decided that the match to determine the absolute champion will be done approximately at the end of March or beginning of April, it simply needs a site to be defined.

"However they are talking and some cities have been mentioned - such as Manchester and Las Vegas - as possible scenarios."

Khan, silver medallist at the 2004 Athens Olympics, is trained by Freddie Roach in California.

Roach believes Khan's switch to Golden Boy will hasten the chances of an all-British fight against former welterweight and light welterweight world champion Ricky Hatton.

Roach masterminded Manny Pacquiao's crushing second-round knockout of Hatton in Las Vegas last May and following that fight advised the Englishman to retire.

The American said: "Ricky asked me if I would train him when I was in the UK the last time and Ricky's a good guy but I can't say I think he should retire one moment and then train him in the next, so I won't be training Ricky.

"But if he is going to fight again I would like Amir to fight him, yes."

However, Roach apparently considers the big-hitting Argentine Maidana too dangerous a fighter for his charge at this stage and would prefer a fight with American Paulie Malignaggi.

While Maidana boasts 27 wins from his 28 fights, with 26 stoppages, Malignaggi has lost three times in 30 fights and has not recorded a stoppage victory since beating Kevin Watts in August 2003.

see also
Khan signs deal with Golden Boy
17 Jan 10 |  Boxing
Confident Khan targets US success
06 Dec 09 |  Boxing
Ruthless Khan demolishes Salita
05 Dec 09 |  Boxing
Khan rules out Pacquiao meeting
19 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Khan would fight 'friend' Hatton
19 Jul 09 |  Boxing
Emphatic Khan claims world title
18 Jul 09 |  Boxing

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