Thaxton warns Khan to put up or shut up

CHRIS LAKEY Norwich's Jon Thaxton has told Amir Khan he is prepared to take on the golden boy of British boxing in his own backyard in order to settle bragging rights in the lightweight division.

CHRIS LAKEY

Norwich's Jon Thaxton has told Amir Khan he is prepared to take on the golden boy of British boxing in his own backyard in order to settle bragging rights in the lightweight division.

Khan made it 12 unbeaten at the weekend after a hard-fought win over Willie Limond - and immediately set about laying down another challenge to Thaxton, who holds the British lightweight belt.

But Thaxton said he is tired of Khan's talk - and wants to settle the issue once and for all.

The 20-year-old Khan looked vulnerable for the first time in his fledgling career as Limond put him on the canvas in the sixth. But the Scot lacked the power to finish it off, and two rounds later it was all over, Limond retiring with a broken jaw as Khan lifted the Commonwealth title.

Khan says Thaxton and Graham Earl are now in his sights - but while the Norwich man has welcomed the challenge, he is dubious as to whether he will ever get the chance to prove his point.

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"I've got the British title, he's got the Commonwealth title, so let's do things the old fashioned way and put them both on the line," said Thaxton.

"He called me out a few weeks ago saying he was the best in Britain but we all know he isn't.

"The best fighter is me - I have the belt to prove it and I have proved it on more than one occasion.

"I would love the opportunity to fight him, but it isn't down to me. When the British Boxing Board of Control makes Amir Khan the number one challenger will he fight me?

"I don't think so, I don't think Frank Warren will let it happen. I would love it to happen, my promoter Mick Hennessey would love it to happen and it would be a huge fight.

"It's time he puts up or shuts up - I'll fight him in Bolton if he wants to, I don't care.

"He needs to be a bit more humble and respectful and don't go calling out people like me. I earned my rights over 14 years."

Limond clubbed Khan around in the sixth, but Thaxton insisted his own bombs would have finished the fight off before Khan was given another chance.

"Willie Limond is no puncher - if I'd have put him down he would never have got up, everyone knows that," said Thaxton. "Take away Khan's speed and what has he got?

"The positive thing for Khan is that it was a step-up in class for him, he went down and two rounds later he'd won. On the negative side he showed vulnerability on his chin and he rushed in a lot and looked like he was an amateur.

"Khan has received a lot of money and attention. Given where he is at, I personally think it's a bit unjustified and a bit of a circus. I am the man to end it."

Thaxton was due to make his second title defence against Graham Earl in Norwich next month, but Earl pulled out - and could be next in line for Khan, which would present a bigger pay-day.

"I think he will fight Graham Earl - but Earl is no big puncher either," said Thaxton.