Several influential names from the boxing world is of the opinion that boxer Amir Khan has the ability and charisma to be viewed by Americans in the same lines as Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather if he beats hometown challenger Lamont Peterson in Washington on Saturday, according to the Telegraph.
Amir, 25, is currently the unified WBA (Super) & IBF light welterweight champion and has arrived in Washington for his sixth junior welterweight title defense.
Rival promoters Oscar de la Hoya, Bob Arun, veteran promoter Don Chargin and trainee Freddie Roach believe that Amir has the potential to become the popular name in U.S.
"Depending on this performance, I'd be happy to put Amir in against Floyd Mayweather next May, if the option presents itself. I really do think he is ready," De la Hoya was quoted as saying by the Telegraph.
The U.S. lacks the homegrown stars and Amir can make a mark, alongside unbeaten light-middleweight Mexican boxer Saul Alvarez, as the fresh talent.
Amir's fourth match in the U.S. will be aired by HBO whereas his team in the UK has taken the positive business decision of returning Amir to the Sky Sports. Timing plays an important part in the sport, and Amir has the advantage as both the networks back him.
"Khan has ambition. He has greed. He wants to be the best fighter in the world. He wants to be at the level of Pacquiao and Mayweather. Great qualities. In sport, greed is good. Michael Jordan didn't wake up and say he wanted to be a good NBA player, he wanted to be the best NBA player," senior vice-president of HBO's sports programming Kery Davis told the Telegraph.
"Will he [Khan] achieve it? We don't know yet, but he's telegenic, he's got the qualities, the charisma and the attitude. It's not just about winning. It's about winning in exciting fights, beating the contenders ... just like Pacquiao did," Davis added.
Echoing the similar views with those of Davis, Peterson's coach Barry Hunter, said: "Amir is a courageous guy. He throws a lot of punches. So, he doesn't mind mixing it up a little bit. On the flip side, Lamont is very tactical, very technical. Both of these guys have big, big hearts. They will lay it all on the line. It will be tactical early, exciting late."