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Page last updated at 15:25 GMT, Friday, 4 December 2009

Amir Khan ready for title defence against Salita

WBA world light-welterweight title: Amir Khan v Dmitriy Salita
Venue: Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle Date: Saturday, 5 December (Fight expected to begin about 2300 GMT) Coverage: Sky Sports and full commentary on BBC Radio 5 live

Khan v Salita weigh-in

Amir Khan says he is primed and ready ahead of his first WBA light-welterweight defence against Dmitriy Salita in Newcastle on Saturday.

Both fighters made the 10-stone limit at Friday's weigh-in with Khan half a pound under, while Salita needed to strip naked before coming through it.

"I know it is going to be tough but I feel good and feel sharp," said Khan.

"It's a big chance for him but I saw fear in his eyes and he struggled to make the weight. He looks drained."

Salita, naturally the bigger fighter, has fought most of his career at light-welterweight, while Khan is boxing at the 10-stone limit for only the third time in his career.

606: DEBATE

The 27-year-old Salita could put on a further 10 pounds by the time the fight comes around but Khan says he is unconcerned ahead of the clash against the unbeaten Ukrainian.

"People said they saw him jogging this morning (Friday) to make the weight while I had a full breakfast, an energy drink and I feel nice and relaxed," added Khan.

"I can see in his eyes he's worried and I think his style is going to bring out the best in me. I don't get many fighters who are as skilful as me but I think Salita is, he's very skilful.

"But now I've hit world-class level, I want to beat these people. Not just beat them, I want to knock them out and I want to put a stamp there to say, 'look guys, Amir Khan is here and you better be careful what you say because I'm the world champion and I'm going to back it up by fighting and making a statement'."

Khan confident ahead of first defence

Khan, 22, will be making the first defence of his WBA title that he won with a unanimous points victory over Andreas Kotelnik in Manchester in July.

The Bolton fighter has lost once in 22 fights, while his opponent is unbeaten in his 31 contests.

Khan's one defeat was inflicted by Colombian Breidis Prescott in September 2008, with the Olympic silver medallist knocked out in 54 seconds and Salita is ready to take advantage of any vulnerability at the Metro Radio Arena.

"I think Amir Khan is a very good boxer and he's had a lot of success in a short space of time," said New York based Salita.

"Even if he's ready he's going to have a lot of trouble.

Amir's the best fighter I've fought - Salita

"More so if he hasn't taken the fight seriously.

"I've been around world champions since I was a little kid so I always knew this moment would come. More so than any other fight I know what I'm getting into and I feel calm about it."

Saturday's bill also sees Dagenham's Kevin Mitchell take on Prescott in a WBA lightweight title eliminator, while former cruiserweight world champion Enzo Maccarinelli returns to action.

Olympic gold medallist James DeGale is also in action as are Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders, while Ronnie Heffron makes his professional debut.



see also
Khan v Salita photos - build up
03 Dec 09 |  Boxing
Khan is vulnerable, says Salita
24 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Khan rules out Pacquiao meeting
19 Nov 09 |  Boxing
Khan makes early training return
15 Oct 09 |  Boxing
Khan to fight Salita in Newcastle
06 Oct 09 |  Boxing
Khan would fight 'friend' Hatton
19 Jul 09 |  Boxing
Khan's victory in photos
19 Jul 09 |  Boxing
Emphatic Khan claims world title
18 Jul 09 |  Boxing


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