LONDON – Marco Antonio Barrera says he will expose Amir Khan’s suspect chin and shaky defence and march on to another world title in a fourth weight division.
Barrera, 35, who was cut badly by a headbutt in a recent tuneup, is taking on a big-punching fighter 13 years younger he meets Khan in a lightweight fight March 14 in Manchester.
The fight has the potential to be a classic with Khan trying to do what another talented British fighter, Naseem Hamed, failed to do in April 2001. Barrera outboxed Hamed over 12 rounds at featherweight for the British fighter’s only defeat, and now the Mexican wants to punch another hole in Khan’s career – then line up a world title fight in the lightweight division.
“That’s what gets me to fight,” the former super-bantamweight, featherweight and super-featherweight champion said Wednesday during a conference call. “If I beat this kid I am definitely getting a title shot in my next fight.”
Although Khan was knocked out in the first round by Breidis Prescott in September, he rebounded by battering Oisin Fagan in two rounds and has a 19-1 record. He’s also training with Freddie Roach, the mastermind behind Manny Pacquiao’s rise up the pound-for-pound lists.
“I have seen him a couple of times and studied his fights,” Barrera said of Khan. “I know he’s a good fighter but he makes mistakes and I think he has a questionable chin.
“I feel sure I can beat him.”
Khan, who at 17 won the Olympic silver medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004, is considered one of Britain’s best young fighters but has been frustrated he hasn’t yet had a big fight.
“I have always had the ambition to go out and fight all the best fighters and this is the start,” the 22-year-old Khan said. “I am fighting a legend who has won world titles at three different weights.
“This is my motivation for getting into the gym and fighting a lot harder. I saw him beat Naseem Hamed but I am totally different fighter than Naseem Hamed.”
Promoter Don King said TV rights for the fight in the United States have not been finalized.
Barrera dismissed suggestions that the cut he received Saturday in a fight in Mexico against Freudis Rojas would have any impact on the fight. Rojas was disqualified for the headbutt.
“I really don’t want to get into my cut because that’s behind me,” Barrera said. “That was last weekend.
“Amir Khan should be more worried that Marco Antonio Barrera is going to get him and make him the next English fighter on his list. I don’t put the round but it’s coming. I don’t predict what will happen. I just go on to prove it.”