Amir Khan to defend WBA title against Zab Judah

By Ben DirsBBC Sport
Amir Khan after fighting Paul McCloskey
Khan's last fight was a successful defence against Paul McCloskey

Amir Khan's next defence of his WBA light-welterweight title will be against IBF champion Zab Judah at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on 23 July.

Khan, 24, said WBC and WBO title-holder Tim Bradley "chickened out" of a unification bout, despite being offered 50% of UK television revenue.

American two-weight world champion Judah, 33, reclaimed the IBF title against Kaizer Mabuza in March.

"Judah is a five-time world champion and a big name," said Khan.

"Bradley was the guy I wanted to fight but he chickened out. I offered him 50% of UK revenue, which is unheard of, and 50% of all revenue in America, that's how much I wanted to fight him, but he didn't want it.

"Maybe in the future that fight will happen but the same deal would not be on the table, next time I'd keep 100% of UK revenue.

"But Judah is a big name to have on your record and I'd argue Judah is the better fighter, a bigger name and more exciting to watch."

Judah's career includes victories over Britain's Junior Witter and Cory Spinks, while he has lost to the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr, Kostya Tszyu and Miguel Cotto.

Judah said: "I did it at 147lb [welterweight] and I'm going do it at 140lb, starting with Amir Khan. I'm very experienced, so whichever way he brings the fight, I can deal with it and take it from him."

Southpaw Judah, who has 41 wins (28 KOs) and six defeats, became a five-time world champion when he knocked out South African Mabuza in seven rounds in Newark and he could pose a big threat to Khan.

Khan's last fight was a technical decision over Paul McCloskey in Manchester in April, which ended in unsatisfactory circumstances when the Northern Irish challenger suffered a cut eye.

The fall out from that fight continues to this day. Khan's camp decided to jump ship to fringe satellite channel Primetime after mainstream broadcaster Sky bumped the fight from pay-per-view, and now Sky has rejected the match against Judah.

Richard Schaefer, head of Khan's American promoters Golden Boy, said he was meeting with Sky representatives next week to iron out any differences, adding: "If anyone turns their back on Amir, they turn their back on Golden Boy".