Amir Khan has reached the precipice of serious boxing stardom. Although he just turned 24 on Wednesday, Khan realizes his next few fights are likely to determine whether he joins Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. among the elite, or turns out to be an overhyped mediocrity.
Khan is eager to find out for himself, because he has his eye on much more than a few gaudy title belts. He dreams of global domination – Nike commercials, ridiculous wealth and one-name recognition beyond his native England and his ancestral Pakistan, where he’s already the biggest thing going.
If Khan (23-1, 17 KOs) can’t defend his WBA 140-pound title in his Las Vegas debut against Argentina’s Marcos Maidana (29-1, 27 KOs) tonight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, those dreams will recede into the distance. Khan isn’t eager to chase them down again.
“If I want to be the champion I say I am, I have to win fights like this,” Khan said. “I have to leave a statement in the States.”