Amir Khan wants bout with Manny Pacquiao over grudge match with Kell Brook

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Amir Khan favours a fight with Manny Pacquiao over a grudge match with British rival Kell Brook because he wants to fight a “boxing legend”.

However, the 31-year-old is not overlooking Samuel Vargas, who he faces in Birmingham on Saturday in his first bout back in the 147lb welterweight division since 2015.

Victory at the Birmingham Arena could be a big stepping stone for Khan towards a huge stadium clash in his next fight.

The Bolton boxer thought he had landed the Pacquiao fight a few years ago but it never came to fruition.

Promoter Eddie Hearn would prefer to see Khan face one of his other Matchroom fighters – long-term rival Brook in what would also be a huge bout.

However, Khan wants the multi-weight world champion from the Philippines as he feels victory over Pacquiao would define his career.

“Who would I rather face next? Pacquiao, definitely,” said Khan.

“I’d love the Manny Pacquiao fight. I think that’s going to be the defining fight – that is going to put me where I need to be in boxing. If I beat Manny Pacquiao that would put me where I want to be.

“He is a legend of the sport and I want to fight a legend. It would be the biggest fight of my career.”

Manny Pacquiao v Lucas Matthysse - WBA Welterweight Title Bout

Asked if chasing the Pacquiao fight again is because he sees it as pivotal to cementing his own legacy, Khan said: “It’s not about that. I just want to fight the best and beat the best out there and be remembered as a great fighter.”

“What I’ve done in British boxing is what most fighters have never done before. I’ve won world titles, headlined in Vegas, fought the best out there. I’ve done it all so what’s left, win another world title? Something I’ve already done.

“First though, I’ve got to get the win on Saturday and I am not looking beyond Samuel Vargas.”

Colombia-born Vargas, 29, is confident of derailing Khan’s plans and causing an upset, believing the Briton is past his best and “damaged” by the devastating knock-out defeat against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in 2016.

“There is no doubt in my mind I will be victorious on Saturday night,” said Vargas. “I don’t care how I do it, whether it’s by knockout, going the distance or I break his ribs – I don’t care.

“I think he’s an old man and he’s been damaged a lot.”

Khan was unperturbed, though, insisting there is a gulf in quality between the two fighters.

“I’m glad he’s confident as he’s making the fight more interesting,” Khan said. “To be honest, I don’t know much about him. But I’ve seen him fight and he’s not on the same level as me.

“He’s not as good as the guys I’ve beaten in my career and nowhere near as good as the sparring partners I’ve had so he’s got no chance. I’m a better fighter, he’s not on the same level.”

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Anthony Joshua still wants to fight Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury

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Anthony Joshua will fight Alexander Povetkin next in London

Anthony Joshua admits he has one eye on future fights against the likes of Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury ahead of his world heavyweight contest against Alexander Povetkin.

Joshua will be defending his WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO belts against Russian Povetkin when the pair meet at Wembley Stadium on September 22.

It will be Joshua’s first fight at Wembley since he stopped Wladimir Klitschko in April 2017 and the 28-year-old has his sights set on more clashes against the biggest names in the heavyweight division.

He has long been linked with clashes against Wilder and Fury but is aware that mandatory challenger Povetkin is a threat.

“Povetkin is a massive threat because he wants to be in the position that I’m in,” Joshua told Sky Sports News.

“I’m not here to prove that I’m a prospect, I’ve proved myself and it’s hard to stay here now. I’ve got to be wary but he’s got to be wary of what I bring to the table as well which will make it a good fight.

“This is world level boxing, elite boxing, world championship boxing.

“Povetkin is a real game challenger but he’s got to come across myself, I’m game as well.

“It will be a good fight, it’s not going to be a quick one. We can both take a lot of punishment and dish out a lot of punishment and it’s the first one to go.

“I’ve always been looking for the big, big fights and putting names on my record as well, building up my record. I have good opponents on my record so far – Povetkin is a good one.

“I’m at that stage where I do want to look past Povetkin because the division is alight, it’s amazing, there’s some real good challenges out there. But at the same time you do have to focus on the opponent in front of you.”

Tyson Fury could fight Joshua next

Tyson Fury could fight Joshua next

Those future challenges will almost certainly be a high-profile clash against American WBC world heavyweight champion Wilder and possibly fellow Brit Fury.

Wilder and Fury announced that they have agreed to fight each other, although a date is yet to be set for the clash.

Joshua was asked if he was surprised the pair were set to meet, replying: “Not necessarily.

“I think because they both need that fight. They are at that stage of their career, 10 years in, where they need meaningful fights as well. They are both building up their records, they’ve been in the game a long time.

“Good luck to them, it’s good for boxing as well.”

Joshua doesn’t feel that fight, or his clash with Povetkin, will have an impact on any future fights he may have against them, believing the public demand would still be there.

“I think regardless, we are always going to have to fight. Same weight category, in the same era and it’s the fight people want to see, so yeah we are going to fight each other.

“It’s interesting because, say the worst happens with Povetkin, it doesn’t stop me having to fight them anyway. They will still want to fight me because we are big in the game.

“So that fight will happen regardless of who wins. If Wilder gets beat in that fight with Fury, I’ll still fight Wilder down the line. There will always be interest around the name of heavyweight boxing.”

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Tyson Fury to challenge Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas in November

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Return to the ring: Tyson Fury.

Tyson Fury will challenge WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas in November after easing to a 10-round victory over Francesco Pianeta at Belfast’s Windsor Park.

The 30-year-old needed only to defeat his little-known opponent to secure the ambitious fight, which will represent only the third since his comeback began in June, and was afterwards joined in the ring by the powerful American where both fighters and promoter Frank Warren confirmed they will meet.

Crucially for Fury, after the disappointment of his four-round victory over Sefer Seferi in June, in being taken the 10-round distance he was given the chance to shift much of the ring rust that would have developed during his near-three-year absence.

He will have to lose further weight and continue to rediscover his sharpness following an unremarkable performance in which he rarely hurt his opponent, but standing opposite Wilder, he vowed: “I’m going to win this man’s belt and bring it back to defend right here in Belfast.

“You can’t knock out what you can’t hit. This man (Pianeta) couldn’t land a blow on me.

“This was the performance I needed to prove against a tough opponent that I can move and box again at the best level.

“It was a calculated boxing performance as promised. Working on my boxing, get the rounds in. I’m very happy with my performance. It was a step up in opponent; I needed to box and move and still show I can go 10 rounds.

“We are two men that will fight everybody; they called, I answered, I said ‘Send me the contract’ and they sent it, I signed it. One thing I promise is that I’m knocking you out, boy.”

Wilder, 32, and who clashed with Fury at Friday’s weigh-in, then told the former WBA, WBO and IBF champion: “It is one thing that Tyson Fury has never had. He had many belts, but he’s never had the WBC belt.

“If he ever thinks about having this belt, he better wake up and apologise to me because he’ll never have this.

“I can’t wait to fight you because I am going to knock you out. I promise you. You’ve never been knocked out but you’re going to feel the experience, what it feels to get hit by the ‘Bronze Bomber’.

“I’m happy to be here but I’m sorry to tell you that Fury will not be bringing the WBC belt back here. This fight we are having is on; it’s official, it’s on, baby.”

Warren, who has overseen Fury’s comeback, added: “All (a date and venue) will be revealed next week, but the fight is on.”

IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington similarly travelled from Leeds to join Carl Frampton in the ring after the latter stopped Australia’s Luke Jackson in nine one-sided rounds, and Warren confirmed that they will also fight before the end of the year.

“We’re now going to make the dream fight,” he said. “It will happen, definitely this year. It’s on.”

The 31-year-old Frampton, who defended the interim WBO title, said: “I’m not a world champion, Josh is a world champion. I’d love to be a world champion again.”

Warrington, 27, responded: “He performed well, but listen I’m looking to get the fight, I beat (Lee) Selby and I’m still ranked behind Carl.”

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