x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Amir Khan to face European champion Paul McCloskey

Briton will defend his WBA light-welterweight title in Manchester.

Amir Khan will defend his WBA light-welterweight title against European champion Paul McCloskey on April 16.

In his first fight on home soil since 2009, the British fighter will face the Northern Irishman at the MEN Arena in Manchester.

"Home is home and I love fighting in England," the 24-year-old Khan said Monday. "Not many people can afford to travel all the way to America to see me fight.

"McCloskey's not a pay-per-view fighter and he agrees with that."

Khan fought in the United States last year, defeating Paulie Malignaggi and Marcos Maidana. He has a career record of 24 wins (17 KOs) and one loss.

There had been speculation that Khan's next defense would be against Victor Ortiz or Zab Judah. But he has settled for the 31-year-old McCloskey, who is 22-0 but hasn't fought any big names.

"I've never really met him but he's meant to be a great fighter, undefeated and European champion," Khan said. "It's going to be a big night for me.

"He's a tough guy. For him, it's going to be a big fight. He'll be fighting for a world title. I'm giving him that chance."

But Khan is already looking past the bout. He wants to meet WBC and WBO champion Timothy Bradley before stepping up a division to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

"I want to unify the division in the summer," Khan said. My dream is to become pound for pound champion of the world and to do that I'll have to fight one of them.

"I'm a big fan of Mayweather but sometimes you have to share the ring with one of your heroes."