Monday, June 15, 2009

Khan's contest switched to Manchester

Amir Khan's big WBA World title clash against Andreas Kotelnik will now take place at the Manchester Evening News (MEN) Arena on Saturday 18 July 2009 . The Bolton star was originally scheduled to challenge Kotelnik for his WBA World Light-Welterweight title at London's O2 Arena on June 27, but because the Ukrainian has suffered a minor injury and tooth infection the bout had to be postponed. Unfortunately for Boxing fans the postponement means the O2 Arena cannot stage the big fight. Michael Jackson has the O2 Arena that night and is performing. However, the M.E.N Arena, host to so many big UK fights nights in the past, have come to Khan's rescue and have rearranged things to host Khan's first world title challenge at the scene of his fifth round victory over Mexican legend, Marco Antonio Barrera in March. The 22-year-old star said, " Firstly, I'm delighted that my World title fight against Kotelnik is still on and when July 18 comes I will never be more ready for him although, the postponement of the fight is a pain. In boxing these things happen so I have to be professional and stay focussed. However, when I'm the victor and I am finally crowned World champion it will make up for it." "Freddie Roach is adjusting my training accordingly so that I'm ready for the new date and I'm at my peak both physically and mentally," He added, "I was looking forward to headlining at the O2 Arena again and to fighting in the capital as I have a lot of fans in London. I always get a great reception there so hopefully I can go back sometime soon, maybe for my first defence! I had a great night at the M.E.N Arena against Barrera last time out and now I aim to win the World title against Kotelnik there too." Promoter Frank Warren said ; "Kotelnik has suffered an unfortunate injury and the added infection has scuppered his chances of fighting on 27th June. Kotelnik, like everyone, is really sorry for the postponement but to his credit he is fighting at the earliest possible opportunity. The added problems caused by the The Michael Jackson concerts has made it impossible to stay at the O2 but I am thankful to the MEN Arena for saving the day and I am sure the atmosphere in there will be as good, if not better, than at the O2 so we are still in for a fantastic night. This is a good fight for the fans and a great fight for Amir Khan to step up to the next level and become World Champion. The postponement, whilst unfortunate is minimal and I am pleased that the opportunity was not lost by us for Khan to get his challenge. Albeit three weeks later than planned, Saturday 18th July will be the making of Amir Khan."


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