Amir Khan has declared that he WOULD be willing to fight UFC star Conor McGregor.
Irishman McGregor has exploded to become the biggest name in MMA over the last 18 months and has been linked as a potential opponent for boxing’s retired pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather – should Pretty Boy ever return to the ring.
However, a bout between the two has failed to transpire, with UFC chief Dana White reckoning that a bout between the pair was merely a way for Mayweather, a master of self-promotion, to remain relevant in retirement.
“Floyd’s good at promoting himself,” said White. “He’s not doing anything right now, and he’s good at making people talk about him.”
Khan too has rubbished the notion of Mayweather stepping into the ring against McGregor, telling Flocombat: “I don’t think Mayweather would ever take it. When Mayweather knows he’s in a real fight, he just backs out of it.”
However Khan, who recently invested in The Super Fight League, the world’s third most followed MMA organisation, says he CAN see himself stepping into the Octagon – and that he wouldn’t back away from a bout with The Notorious.
“I would get into a cage and I would fight in MMA rules, so that’s the difference between me and Mayweather,” said Khan. “I would definitely give it a go.
“It just depends on the weight category. But look, as a fighter, that’s a fight I would take.
“McGregor is a massive name in MMA, and I’m a big name in boxing, so globally, I think it would be a massive fight. Sometimes, you have to put friendship aside and you have to take it in the cage or in the ring. But yeah, if that fight comes up to me, I’m not one to back away from it.
“Something like that would be massive. Even if I started to train MMA next year, I’d only be 30 years old.
“I could stop and train for a full year and become a good MMA fighter. It’s in our blood to fight. I’ve been fighting all my life, so for me, I don’t think it’d be a problem for me to learn and switch over to the sport.”
GettyAmir Khan stays down after a knockout punch from Canelo AlvarezLast fight: Khan was last seen in the ring when losing to Canelo Alvarez in May
McGregor will step back into the Octagon at UFC 202 next month, when he looks for revenge against Nate Diaz.
Khan hasn’t been seen in a boxing ring since being brutally knocked out by Canelo Alvarez in May, having stepped up two weight divisions to face the hard-hitting Mexican.
And should he step in with McGregor, under UFC rules or not, Khan believes a bout between the two would come down to their punching prowess.
“I think McGregor has some great boxing skills,” said Khan. “A good boxer will always win a MMA fight – I’ve always said that. A good puncher will always win.
“You saw in the Aldo fight – he took a step back and countered him as he came in. With boxing, it’s all about distance and timing, and that’s something we have on our side more than MMA fighters.”