3 More Rounds

Khan, Collazo looking to audition for a Mayweather fight

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Amir Khan is focused on Luis Collazo, but aware of a potential Mayweather fight.

While they may not fully admit it, both Amir Khan and Luis Collazo will have one thing on their mind when they square off on May 3: Floyd Mayweather.

“Oh, absolutely, but I’m not thinking about it,” Collazo said. “I don’t go to sleep thinking about, oh, I might get the Floyd fight. Of course not, my main focus is Khan, and May 3 is going to be the night.”

Khan and Collazo will co-headline the Mayweather vs Maidana pay-per-view at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It’s only human for both men to have that potential future fight on their mind. After all, a fight with the pound-for-pound king is the equivalent to hitting the Mega Millions jackpot in boxing.

Khan (28-3, 19 KO) had been on what seemed like a never-ending quest to campaign for a fight with Mayweather. Despite winning the majority of the votes in a fan poll where he was pitted against Marcos Maidana, Mayweather ultimately decided on Maidana as his next opponent, citing a better record in his past four fights.

“I mean, if it happens, it happens. I’m just going to be focused on one thing, and what I need to do is keep winning,” Khan said. “I know I will be in Floyd’s eye, even though it didn’t happen last time, you know, it’s not going to affect me in anyway. I’m just going to be focused for my next fight, really. I know I’m up against a tough guy.”

After his shocking second round knockout of Victor Ortiz, Collazo (35-5, 18 KO) catapulted himself to the top of the 147-lb weight class. He will be looking to move even higher up the ladder after this fight.

“Khan is a great fighter, he’s been on top of the game quite some time now, and to be able to get this fight, it’s great,” Collazo said. “This is just getting me closer to where I really want to be, at the top of the welterweight division.”

Photo: Hoganphotos / GBP

Photo: Hoganphotos / GBP

Collazo has been in the ring with the multiple world champions, such as Andre Berto, Shane Mosley and Ricky Hatton. Unfortunately for him, he lost all three of those fights. However, Collazo says he learned a lot from those fights and will look to apply it in his upcoming fight with Khan.

“I think everybody learns from their mistakes. You just don’t want to make them again,” Collazo said. “Before I was on my time, now, I’m on God’s time. Like you said, May of 2006 I fought Hatton, and now it’s May 2014 and I’m fighting Khan. It’s amazing.”

Despite a shaky performance against Julio Diaz last April in the UK, Khan has gone 2-0 since his decision to move camp to the Bay Area to train with Virgil Hunter. He credits Hunter for helping him fix any flaws that may be in his game.

“We’re working on the mistakes I used to make, I used to take silly shots, I used to jump onto a lot of the shots, which I believe are probably twice as hard as when you do get hit, when you jump into a shot,” Khan said. “So, we’ve been working on just being patient, being smart, using the feet and the hands at the right time, using the defense and the offense at the right time, and he’s changing me up. You know, he’s making me understand the sport of boxing.”

Despite getting passed up for Marcos Maidana, Khan says he is over not getting chosen as Floyd Mayweather’s next opponent.

“It is upsetting. Yeah, I was upset, but look, I’ve got someone else in front of me now, Luis Collazo, who is going to be giving 100 percent in there,” Khan said. “So, all of my focus is on that fight now. Whatever happened in the past I just let it go, and, you know, I’m just focusing on this next fight now.”

Much like it has been for most of his career, Collazo finds himself in the familiar role of the underdog against Khan. He does not seem to mind it one bit.

“It’s okay…, I’ve been the underdog all my life, all my fights I was the one trying, the next fighter to step up,” Collazo said. “He’s coming to the welterweight division, I’m more than happy to welcome him to that weight.”

If there is one thing Collazo learned from his razor-close decision losses to Andre Berto and Ricky Hatton, it’s that if an opportunity for a knockout is there, take it. He does not want to risk a fight to possibly go the distance.

“From the Ricky fight I learned that anything could happen. And from the Victor Ortiz fight, I learned don’t leave it to the judges,” Collazo said. “I learned a lot and I’m just very excited and humbled by this opportunity. And come May 3 I’m just going to keep giving the boxing fans what they want, some more excitement.”

As for Khan possibly earning a Mayweather fight with a victory in May, he did not comment either way. He does however feel that his fight with Collazo will end up stealing the show.

“It’s all about putting a great performance on, putting a great fight on, and giving the crowd what they want,” Khan said. “The fans want to see a good fight, the fans want to see an exciting fight, and I think us two, the two styles we have will make this fight very exciting, and very good to watch.”

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