Sports

ISLAMABAD (APP) – Explaining the reason for stepping up two weight divisions to challenge World Boxing Council middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Pakistan-origin British boxer Amir Khan
has claimed that American boxer Floyd Mayweather was “too scared” to agree to a fight with him.

Mayweather retired last September with a perfect record of 49-0 and has been continually linked with a return to the sport. Despite meeting long-time rival Manny Pacquiao, the 39-year-old dodged a series of high-profile opponents including Khan during the final years of his career, instead choosing to face Marcos Maidana and Andre Berto in three of his final four bouts.

Khan’s recent career has been littered with rejections, with Pacquiao among those to have rejected a potential bout. The former Olympic silver medallist will return to the ring on May 7 to face Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for the WBC middleweight title in Las Vegas, but he remains disappointed over
failure to secure a career-defining fight against one of the sport’ biggest names.

The 29-year-old said a deal was close to taking on Mayweather, and that an offer to fight for free was even submitted.”We thought we got very close to making that fight happen,” Khan was quoted as saying by a British website www.ibtimes.co.uk on Thursday.

“Floyd, to be honest, is too scared to fight me. I honestly have to say that. I did everything to make that fight happen. I spoke to my team, and I even said ‘I’ll fight you for free,’ just to show the world that I’m a better fighter than him, but he just didn’t want to fight me and wanted the easy
way out.”

The clash with Alvarez will see Khan climb two weight divisions to the 160lbs class in a daunting test for the Bolton-born fighter. He had previously claimed he was chasing a rematch with WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia when he withdrew from negotiations to face IBF champion Kell Brook.

“The reason I have to move up a weight now and fight someone like Canelo is because no one in my division wanted to fight me,” he admitted. “Mayweather let me down. Pacquiao let me down. Danny Garcia let me down. So I’m in a position where people don’t want to fight me, so I have to
move up.

“I am in a position where I want the biggest fights. I am the WBC number one. There are a lot of politics in the game but look I have my eye on one fight against Canelo, I am going to be focusing on that and we go from there.”