Amir Khan backtracks on Mayweather talk

Today for 140-pound titlist Amir Khan, futuristic boxing robots. Tomorrow, Floyd Mayweather Jr.? Fred Duval/Getty Images

Will Amir Khan fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2012?

It's possible. Khan has made it clear he wants the fight. And absent the prospect of a bout at 140 pounds against Timothy Bradley Jr. or Erik Morales, Khan intends to move up to the welterweight division, where Mayweather resides, should he defeat Lamont Peterson on Dec. 10.

The prospect of the bout gained greater attention this week when, following the London press conference to announce the Peterson fight, Khan told Britain's Sky News that Mayweather "had agreed" to fight him. Two days later, talking to ESPN.com in Washington, D.C., Khan sought to clarify those remarks and dampen the speculation they prompted.

"I think it's a bit too soon for a Mayweather fight yet," he said. "This time next year, probably, I'm looking at -- or possibly in the summertime. It would be massive in England, but would Floyd Mayweather travel to England?"

While Mayweather certainly has not dismissed the notion of a fight with the Englishman -- prior to his knockout defeat of Victor Ortiz, he suggested he would take him on if Khan defeated Mayweather protege Jessie Vargas first -- Khan emphasized on Thursday that such a bout "is for the future. It's good to have goals and ambitions."

Besides, Mayweather, having just dispensed with Ortiz, probably "doesn't want to talk about boxing" right now, Khan observed. And meanwhile, Khan has another fight to focus on. He concedes it would be "stupid" of him to look past Peterson toward a possible Mayweather clash.

"There's no Floyd Mayweather fight if I don't get past this guy," he said. "If I get beat, then that's over. I've only started to build my career up in America. I want it to last for a long, long time and I can't afford to lose. I don't want to start at the bottom again."