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Page last updated at 10:45 GMT, Friday, 30 April 2010 11:45 UK

Amir Khan and Kevin Mitchell keen on domestic showdown

By Ben Dirs

Kevin Mitchell (left) and Amir Khan
Mitchell (left) and Khan have know each other since their amateur days

Amir Khan and Kevin Mitchell have both said they would like to fight each other in what would be the biggest all-British showdown in years.

However, both men, who box different opponents on 15 May, claim the other would not take the fight.

"I'd fancy it, but I don't think they would - Mitchell is Frank Warren's golden boy and I think they want to keep it that way," Khan told BBC Sport.

"I'd want it, but Amir wouldn't - he's been found out," Mitchell countered.

Bolton's Khan, 23, defends his WBA light-welterweight crown against Paulie Malignaggi on his American debut at New York's Madison Square Garden on 15 May , a fight which will be shown live on ITV.

Londoner Mitchell, 25, challenges Australian Michael Katsidis at Upton Park on the same evening, with the WBO interim lightweight belt up for grabs, although if Juan Manuel Marquez vacates, it will be for the full title.

Should both men win, the clamour for a domestic match-up would start to gather momentum, but Khan is adamant in his belief his former promoter Warren would not want to risk Mitchell.

It's been proven, anyone who can half-punch, Khan's vulnerable against

Kevin Mitchell

"Frank wouldn't want one of his fighters to get beat by a guy from a different camp," said Khan, who left Warren in January to join Oscar de la Hoya's outfit Golden Boy Promotions and who is now based in Los Angeles.

He added: "If it did happen, definitely I'd beat him, no doubt about it. He's a good fighter but it would just be a case of hit and move."

Mitchell, a former Commonwealth and British super-featherweight champion, garnered much coverage and praise for his classy defeat of Breidis Prescott last December, the man who knocked out Khan in 54 seconds in 2008.

Unlike Khan, Mitchell is still undefeated and the West Ham fanatic believes his old amateur friend has taken the easy option by moving to the States.

606: DEBATE

Mitchell told BBC Sport: "Amir Khan knows the score - he's a good boy and a nice boxer but I think everyone knows now in the boxing world what he's about.

"He took Paulie Malignaggi instead of taking on his number one mandatory [Marcos Maidana], so I think the Americans know the score as well.

"It's been proven, anyone who can half-punch, Khan's vulnerable against and Maidana can proper punch, which is why they are keeping away from him.

"He's got an easier opponent than me [on 15 May], definitely - a non-puncher, someone who doesn't throw many, an old boy and someone who Ricky Hatton beat two years ago. I'm taking on a ferocious, come-forward puncher who's as angry as they come."

Katsidis has 26 wins and 21 knockouts from 28 fights, although he has never fought for a world title, while Malignaggi has 27 wins and just five knockouts from 30 fights, but is a former IBF title-holder.

Khan said his decision to fight 29-year-old Malignaggi instead of Maidana was largely a financial one, and conceded the only way to silence those who continue to question his chin would be to fight one of the light-welterweight division's big-hitters next.

"The only way to prove the critics wrong is to fight the winner of Maidana and [WBC title-holder] Timothy Bradley [who meet on 17 July], that would be a big fight for me and that would shut a lot of critics up," said Khan, who has 22 wins from 23 fights.

Argentine Maidana has 28 wins from 29 fights, with 27 knockouts, while American Bradley remains unbeaten in 25 fights, with 11 knockouts.



see also
Mitchell to fight at Upton Park
17 Mar 10 |  Boxing
Malignaggi issues warning to Khan
16 Mar 10 |  Boxing
Mitchell claims knockout victory
13 Feb 10 |  Boxing
Warren 'gutted' at Khan departure
25 Jan 10 |  Boxing
Khan signs deal with Golden Boy
17 Jan 10 |  Boxing
Mitchell reveals Khan influence
06 Dec 09 |  Boxing
Roach holds key to Khan future
06 Dec 09 |  Boxing
Classy Mitchell sees off Prescott
05 Dec 09 |  Boxing
Khan knocked out in first round
06 Sep 08 |  Boxing


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