“I fancy him to win it and that’s why I made the fight,” said the insightful Warren, who has
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promoted some of the biggest names in British boxing. “But it won’t be easy, you know, it’s going to be…if he stops him that will be a big feather in his cap. Kotelnik has never been on the floor, amateur or pro, to my knowledge. If Amir does stop him, that is big time.”
Kotelnik (31-2-1, 13KOs) is a solid professional fighter with nearly a decade logged as a pro. He won a silver medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia where he lost to Cuba’s Mario Kindelan in the gold medal match. Interestingly, four years later, it was Kindelan that also defeated Khan for the gold medal in the Athens Olympic Games where Khan was also forced to settle for a silver medal.
After a crushing first-round knockout loss to Breidis Prescott last July, Khan (20-1, 15KOs) has since regrouped under the auspices of trainer Freddie Roach. He is coming off the best win of his young career against Marco Antonio Barrera and has a newfound confidence. Based on the performance against Barrera, Warren made the decision to put Khan into a title fight.
“I think he can win it, I think he can win it,” sa
The fight is going to take place at the M.E.N Arena in Manchester, England which is only about 20 miles from Bolton, where Khan was born. He is currently the betting favorite to unseat Kotelnik from his WBA 140-pound throne. The shocking loss to Prescott hasn’t seemed to stall his career too much and at only 22-years-old, Khan seems to have re-boarded the career fast-track.
“I can’t think of many British fighters that have fought for a world title at such a young age,” said Warren. “He’s in with a quality guy in Kotelnik who is used to fighting on the road. He’s a quality operator, he beat Gavin Rees over here. This is going to be a much different fight than Barrera as this guy is more technical. He’s got a good boxing brain and Amir is going to have to be at the top of his game for this one.”
by T.K. Stewart