Friday, May 29, 2009

Kotelnik attracts London Fan Base

Andreas Kotelnik says he will be fighting for his fellow countrymen when he takes on Amir Khan on June 27 at London's O2 Arena. The Ukrainian drew inspiration from a visit to his nation's embassy in Holland Park, London, during a whistle-stop tour of the capital yesterday. After meeting the ambassador and signing autographs for star-struck embassy staff who posed with his WBA world title, the 31-year-old warned Khan that he would retain his light-welterweight crown in a month's time. "There is pressure on me because so many people back home want me to win, but it's an inspiration as well," said former Olympic silver medallist Kotelnik. "There is a big Ukrainian population in London, and I know they will be coming to support me at the O2 Arena, while millions will be watching back home. "Amir Khan is a good young fighter, but he has bitten off more than he can chew. "I have very fond memories of the UK, and it was here that I won my WBA title when I knocked out Gavin Rees last year. "I have got no problems in coming back to defend it, and I am looking forward to the fight against Khan. "People keep asking me if I am going to lose, but my answer to them is come to the fight on June 27, and at the end of the night we will see who will be going home with the world title, and it won't be Amir Khan."Ambassador Ihor Kharchenko said: "We are very proud to have such a wonderful world champion in Andreas Kotelnik. "I haven't been to a boxing show for 30 years, but I think June 27 is a good time to start going again!" Kotelnik, who was also in the west end to help promote the fight, added: "I have prepared for 12 hard rounds, and Amir Khan is going to be in for a nasty surprise."

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