BOLTON boxing superstar Amir Khan is ready for the step up a division and admits he should have made the move sooner.
Khan’s first fight at welterweight takes place next Saturday against Luis Collazo in Las Vegas as chief support on the Floyd Mayweather v Marcos Maidana bill.
It will be a stern test of Khan’s credentials at 147lbs but he says he is a lot happier at his new weight.
And he admits his struggle to make the weight in his last few fights at light-welterweight affected him in the ring.
Khan, pictured, said: “It is my first fight at 147kg and I feel better at this weight.
“Making the weight at light-welterweight used to kill me.
“The week before the weigh-in was hard – I had to lose sometimes up to 15lbs.
“It meant I hardly ate in the week before fights.
“It definitely affected me in fights and I think people saw that.
“I lost focus at times – concentrating too much on making the weight and not the gameplan in the build-up.
“You could lose 10 weeks work in one day “It was a distraction and I don’t have that now.
“You have seen others struggle with weights in between fights.
“Oscar (de la Hoya) had it when he fought (Manny) Pacquiao and Ricky (Hatton) had it at times and it is tough making weights.
“It’s one fight doing that before you even get into the ring.
“When you fight to get to the weight, you have little energy left in the ring.”
Khan wants to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Maidana – who he beat at light-welterweight to retain his WBA belty in 2010 – and Paulie Malignaggi in proving a success at welterweight.
And he believes it is a better weight for him to kick-start his career after a year out of the ring.
The 27-year-old added: “I should have moved up a long time ago.
“You look at fighters like Maidana and Mallinagi and they have moved up successfully.
“I think I will be much better at this weight and I am certainly a lot happier and comfortable in the welterweight division.
“I was always a big light-welterweight and my body has filled out a lot.
“I am excited to get back into the ring and feel physically stronger.
“It is a tougher division and fighters hit harder but I am ready for it.”
l Khan v Collazo is live on BoxNation (Sky 437/490HD and Virgin 546) next Saturday night. Visit www.boxnation.com to subscribe.