Khan gets tilt at world title

Amir Khan will bid to become a world champion for the first time in June when he steps up a division to take on WBA light-welterweight champion Andreas Kotelnik.

The fight was confirmed today by promoter Frank Warren and will take place in Britain, although the venue has not been announced.

Former Olympic silver medallist Khan beat Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera in Manchester last month to put himself in the frame for a world title shot.

Warren confirmed the fight will take place on June 27.

The Reebok Stadium in Bolton, Khan’s home town, could be a possible venue for the fight.

Khan, 22, has forged his reputation in the lightweight division and stepping up to light-welterweight will be a fresh challenge.

Ukrainian fighter Kotelnik lives in Germany and won his world title by beating Khan’s fellow British fighter Gavin Rees in Cardiff last year.

He has since twice successfully defended the title.

Khan said: “This is the best news that I could have received.

“To fight for the world title in only my 22nd fight and at the age of just 22 is fantastic. Frank has done a great job getting the world title fight for me in Britain and now I have to go out and win it.

“I’ve seen Kotelnik a few times and I’ve always been impressed by him but once my trainer Freddie Roach works out the game plan to beat him it’s my job to execute it on the night as I did effectively against Barrera.”

Khan will be bidding to add the WBA world title to his list of achievements.

He is already the Commonwealth lightweight champion, WBO Inter-Continental lightweight champion and WBA International lightweight champion.

Warren said: “This is the moment that Amir has been waiting for and I’m delighted to deliver him the opportunity.

“Amir put in a sensational performance against a three-time world champion and future Hall of Famer in Barrera in only his 21st fight and now he has to produce the same form against Kotelnik, who is a good hard fighter.”

Kotelnik can also, like Khan, include an Olympic silver medal among his achievements, having finished runner-up as a lightweight at the 2000 Games in Sydney.

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