Amir Khan Calls Out Floyd Mayweather, Coach Issues Personal Challenge

Ben Blackmore@@Blackmore_BRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 16, 2013

Amir Khan was ringside as Floyd Mayweather put on yet another masterclass over the weekend, stretching his undefeated record to 45 bouts with a majority decision victory over Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. Mayweather's performance did not faze Khan in slightest, though, as the former two-time world champion is now targeting a 2014 showdown with boxing's top pound-for-pound fighter: 

The Brit has his own world title fight to win against Devon Alexander in December, but he is clearly looking ahead to his next potential bout, via Gareth A Davies of the Daily Telegraph:

Fighting Floyd Mayweather is my dream fight. We are the superstars of boxing and, once I have got Devon Alexander out of the way, it will be Mayweather for me, fingers crossed.

He is an amazing tactician but I know my speed will count against him—that is something I believe in 100 percent.

All the fighters who meet Floyd rely on their power, and although he is an amazing fighter, you have to fight him at his own game. You have to treat it like a chess game. You have to use your speed. He needs to fight someone as quick as him and I know that I am quicker than him.

Khan’s claim to a shot at Mayweather is a bit of a stretch considering he's gone 2-2 over his past four fights. The 26-year-old is still rebuilding after being stopped by Danny Garcia, who is a more logical choice for Mayweather at this stage following his win over Lucas Matthysse.

A victory for Khan over Alexander would hand him the IBF welterweight belt, however, and he remains a big-name in the sport thanks to several memorable wars over the years. But while Khan himself exudes confidence in regards to the potential clash, his coach, Virgil Hunter, questioned the boxer's readiness for a bout of that magnitude. 

In the wake of a reported scandal in Khan's private life, Hunter stated his desire to see the fighter dedicate his career to training, as reported by Jeff Powell of the Daily Mail:

You have to make this sport your absolute priority if what you want is to be the best. If Amir changes his ideas, really commits to boxing and really becomes a student of the game he could grow very quickly.

Most of the fighters like Amir who come to me to save their careers have the same thing in common. They don’t have 100 percent dedication. That is what it takes and that is what I preach.

I’m not saying Amir is wavering. But I am saying that to be a great champion you have to be focussed and disciplined. What makes it difficult for Amir is his popularity. He has to switch all that off. He has to live the life. I’m not afraid to tell him that because I am trying to get the best out of him. 

Khan need only look to Ricky Hatton as a warning of what might happen if he enters a bout against Mayweather without complete mental focus and physical preparation. Hatton, who often ballooned in weight between fights, was stopped in the 10th by Mayweather—a defeat that sparked his slide toward retirement.

Khan does have some tools to give Mayweather trouble, namely the speed Canelo lacked and punching volume to push the pace of the fight. However, his defence and tactical acumen are both not on the champ's level. 

If he dispatches Alexander in impressive fashion, though, the former phenom could realistically find himself on Mayweather's radar—and with the support of his coach as he makes his case for the matchup.