Amir Khan believes he is ready to move onwards and upwards providing he beats Danny Garcia in tonight’s light-welterweight unification fight.
The 25-year-old Briton, who was reinstated as WBA champion this week, takes on WBC holder Garcia in Las Vegas in a bout which will see the winner crowned Ring magazine champion.
Khan then plans to move up to welterweight and take on American superstar Mayweather. The Bolton fighter and his team are convinced he is ready for such a test, while Golden Boy Promotions boss Richard Schaefer insists it is “an easy fight to make”.
First, Khan must get the win against unbeaten Philadelphia man Garcia.
“This is my chance to prove once and for all that I’m the best in the division,” Khan told Press Association Sport.
“I can win the WBC title and will have held three of the four belts in the light-welterweight division, so it’s time to move up to 147lbs.
“I just think there are more challenges out there for me in that division.
“I want to be in big world title fights and in big fights with the likes of Mayweather. To do that, I need to be up in that division.”
He added: “Watching Mayweather’s last fight (a points win against Miguel Cotto), coupled with the way I’ve been training, I think I’m ready.
“One of the reasons I want to move up to 147lbs is to fight Mayweather and it’s not about the money, it’s about me knowing I can beat the guy and be the next guy at the top, the next pound for pound champion.”
Mayweather is currently serving a prison sentence for domestic violence and Khan will be waiting when he is released in a few weeks’ time.
“I hope he comes out of prison unscathed and he’s in shape because I really believe I have his number,” said Khan.
Schaefer believes the fight could even happen before the year is out.
He told Press Association Sport: “Who knows, maybe we’re going to see Mayweather vs Khan later on this year.
“If you have two fighters who want to fight each other then it’s always an easy fight to make and we have a great friendship with Floyd and we’re promoting Amir, so it would be an easy fight to make.
“Amir is ready. In my opinion Amir Khan has the skills to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”
Khan (26-2, 18KO wins) is fighting on the back of a defeat to Lamont Peterson, which was tarnished by the Washington fighter’s failed drug test before their proposed rematch.
Garcia, though, has never tasted defeat.
The Philadelphian (23-0, 14KOs) buys into the long-standing theory that Khan is vulnerable.
“He gets hurt in nearly every fight,” said the American. “Then he runs after he gets hurt. That’s not defence. When he gets hurt on Saturday night, that’s what he’ll do again.
“He can run but he can’t hide.”
Garcia won the WBC title against Erik Morales in his last fight and is overjoyed that he has the chance to unify two of the belts straight away.
“It’s great that this is a unification fight, it just keeps getting better and better for me.”
Both men scaled 139lbs at yesterday’s weigh-in, one pound under the 10 stone light-welterweight limit.