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Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Thursday, 23 September 2010 17:32 UK

Amir Khan hopes to end criticism with win over Maidana

Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana
Khan will fight in Las Vegas for the first time in his career

Amir Khan says he hopes his world title defence against Marcos Maidana will silence the critics who accuse him of not taking on the division's big guns.

WBA light-welterweight champion Khan takes on hard-hitting Argentine Maidana in Las Vegas on 11 December.

Of Maidana's 29 victories, 27 have finished inside the distance.

"I want this fight because once I've beat Maidana I can shut everyone up and they will know who the champion is," Khan told BBC London 94.9.

"They will know who the number one is in that division.

"I could have taken an easy route and still made a lot of money in fighting but, you know what, I wanted this fight because I want to have a good legacy in this sport, I want to be known as a legend and these are the fights that a legend of the future needs to have.

"It is not just a fight I want but one that all boxing fans want."

Khan will fight WBA light-welterweight interim champion Maidana at the Mandalay Bay Hotel three days after he turns 24.

His reputation has been severely questioned since his 54-second loss to Breidis Prescott in September 2008, and the former Olympic silver medallist is desperate to show his critics he can hack it at the top level.

It will be his third defence of the belt he won when beating Andreas Kotelnik in July 2009, having subsequently recorded victories over Dmitriy Salita and Paulie Malignaggi, but the biggest test of his 24-fight career.

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"I want to be the best in the world and this fight will take me on to bigger things," said Khan.

"The critics boost my confidence. It makes me train harder, become more focused to prove these people wrong. Maidana is one of the best in the division.

"Every fighter wants to fight in Vegas. My dream was to fight in Vegas one day and it is happening. I want to see my name lit up on the strip.

"Hopefully the UK fans will show me support and I am sure I will do them all proud.

"I know I am the best in this division. Maidana has come in at my weight but I will beat him and then I will fight the winner of Devon Alexander and Tim Bradley.

"If I have to fight all of them, one by one, I will do that. My dream is to become a legend in this sport and to do that, you have to fight the big names in this sport. But I don't think Alexander and Bradley want to fight me."

Maidana defeated Victor Ortiz in June 2009 to win the lightly-regarded WBO interim world title, and has defended it three times since.

His sole defeat came in February 2009 to Kotelnik, losing a controversial split decision on points.



see also
Brit Khan to make Maidana defence
16 Sep 10 |  Boxing
Khan not ruling out Hatton fight
13 Aug 10 |  Boxing
American Judah has Khan on radar
02 Aug 10 |  Boxing
Khan recovers after malaria scare
06 Jul 10 |  Boxing
Dominant Khan defeats Malignaggi
16 May 10 |  Boxing


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