Amir Khan doubts whether pound-for-pound boxing king Floyd Mayweather Jr will follow through with his promise to quit the sport after his forthcoming fight against Andre Berto.
A victory for Mayweather on Saturday night would take him to 49 wins with no losses – equalling legendary figure Rocky Marciano’s undefeated record.
Boltonian Khan – who has long pursued a lucrative fight with the American – said that the allure of becoming statistically the best boxer of all time would prove too strong for Mayweather to walk away.
“I know Floyd has talked about this being his last fight but I can’t see it,” Khan said.
“To beat Marciano’s record when it is touching distance away isn’t an easy thing to walk away from. If he gets the win on Saturday then I’m sure we’ll see him in the ring next year.
“He’s had a great career and will want to end it with a bang, and what better way than beating Marciano’s record.”
As things stand, Mayweather’s final opponent will be former WBC and IBF welterweight world champion Berto, whose career has been on the decline in recent years, with three defeats in his last six fights.
Both Khan and his compatriot, current IBF world champion Kell Brook, had stated their desire to be the 38-year-old’s last fight, but Mayweather confirmed last week that doubts over Khan’s ability to recover from his fasting obligations during Ramadan, and Brook’s lack of State-side notoriety, saw him opt for 32-year-old American Berto.
However, Khan – who will be providing ringside analysis for BoxNation, who have the exclusive UK rights for the fight – has said that Berto will provide Mayweather with a bigger challenge than many anticipate, highlighting his stablemate’s speed, and the tactical mastery of his esteemed trainer, Virgil Hunter.
“It would be foolish for Floyd to go in there thinking that Berto is a pushover or an easy fight,” said Khan.
“If Floyd does overlook Berto then he’s in for a big surprise because Berto has the power to hurt him.
“I think no matter what, Berto is going to leave it all in the ring and will make sure he gives the fans an exciting fight.
“Floyd is used to guys pressing him and looking to push him back, and to a certain extent that has caused him problems like in the first Maidana fight but he’s very good at making adjustments and dealing with that.
“Berto will need to do bits of that in the fight but also use his speed at the right times.
“He’s quicker than Maidana and that will be an advantage for him because Floyd hasn’t been in with many quick guys in recent years and as you age your reflexes aren’t as sharp.
“I know Virgil will have a few game plans for the fight because against Mayweather you can’t just have one plan – you have to go in there with several and you need to know when to use and implement them.”
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