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King Khan plays down rights wrangling
We get to grips with why the Khan/McCloskey bout has been such a long time coming...
Posted Apr 13, 2011 by Shaun Edwards
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The pride of Bolton, Amir Khan has told the media that the current contract wrangling over his Saturday world title defence against Paul McCloskey would not affect his performance in the ring. Primetime TV, the pay-per-view station will now televise the fight after Khan became entangled in a dispute over rights with media giant Sky.
It is thought that the purse for the fight will now be significantly reduced for Khan but he played down the importance of money in the fight saying that sometimes pay gets cut but that he is driven by the hunger to win. It is quite refreshing to hear an athlete talk about doing what they do for more than just money but the cynic in me thinks that perhaps Khan is concerned with the money (and who can blame him?) but is playing down the issue just so he can get back in the ring.
The Bolton boxer is still young and for many, he hasn’t reached his peak at just 24 years of age so potentially he still has a number of massive fights in him before retiring into the shadows. This means that money doesn’t have to be his main focus right now because bigger paydays will come, particularly if he manages his fights at a later stage in his career.
King Khan is obviously hoping to successfully defend his title in Manchester against Irishman McCloskey but he is also hoping it will lead to a unification bout later this year against WBC and WBO champ Tim Bradley. Khan jumps in the ring at the MEN Arena without having lost a fight since 2008 when the then 22 year old lost his WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight title. McCloskey is currently the undefeated European champion but thanks to an exceptional win over Marcos Maidana late last year, Amir is the bookies’ favourite going into the fight.
The wrangling over the TV rights has obviously called into question whether Khan is still in demand as a fighter with many critics suggesting that it was more lack of interest from players like Sky rather than ‘ironing out’ of details. Asif Vali, Khan’s business manager strongly denies these allegations and I have to say I agree with him.
Khan may have been out of the spotlight for a couple of months now but we all know when he’s in the ring, he delivers, time after time.
Bring on Saturday!