Can King Khan conquer career demons?
Bolton’s Amir Khan will finally re-enter the ring in the early hours of Sunday 15th July in the brightest of bright lights in Las Vegas.
Khan is taking on undefeated WBC champion Danny Garcia in what has only recently become a unification bout, after Khan’s reinstatement as WBA champion of the world.
It has been a long time coming for Khan, who has been out of the ring since 10th December when he lost to Lamont Peterson via a controversial split decision.
Since then, there has been a long-winded and sour saga regarding foul play around the scoring of the bout.
An unconfirmed official, later linked to IBF and referred to as “the man in the hat”, was wrongly sitting in amongst the fight’s judges, passing notes to them and ‘correcting’ scorecards.
It was a story that turned the sport ugly and saw Khan, at times, castigated as paranoid.
Then still, Peterson failed a drug test, claiming a testosterone pellet was implanted into his hip not only after, but also before the Khan fight, casting doubt over whether it should stand as a victory or not.
Peterson defended himself by claiming he could lawfully take the pellets to compensate for a low level of the hormone, failing to alert the state commission in the process.
Khan eventually managed to successfully claim back his WBA belt in order to redeem himself, having seen his way through all this drama professionally.
But he must now put the Peterson paraphernalia behind him, as it will only hinder him and make him fight in anger which could risk his winning the fight.
Garcia is a hungry, young and new champion, fresh off his victory over Mexican legend, Erik Morales.
However, it was an old Morales well past his best, but even still, the veteran was able to take Garcia to school in a few too many of their rounds.
Although a champion, Garcia does not have a long list of live fighters on his record with Morales, alongside Kendall Holt, as the most prime fighters on his CV.
He also struggled to put recently defeated British light-welterweight champion Ashley Theophane away when they met back in February 2010.
It is his first fight at this level and his first defence. He looked slow versus Morales, and speed and reflexes are not the criteria you want to be lacking when facing Amir Khan.
Khan also holds the advantage in the experience stakes, having been a unified champion with multiple defences under his belt.
The Englishman is also returning to his second fighting home in the Mandalay Bay after having been dealt a cruel hand in Washington.
He is much more at home in Las Vegas, having fought there numerous times in main events.
It could be his last fight at light-welterweight, should he win, with fights against Floyd Mayweather, as well as training partner Manny Pacquiao a very real possibility.
Should he lose, and lose badly, it could be the last coffin in his boxing career, as a third loss will stop a fight with Mayweather or Pacquiao from becoming a box office pay-per-view hit.
Khan’s speed and volume of accurate punching should see him win though, possibly via a late stoppage.
But Danny Garcia is no joke and at 23-0 he is a big threat to Khan; he must beware of Danny Garcia’s one-punch knockout power.