Khan: Bout sets up world title shot
Amir Khan. pictured, takes on Julio Diaz this weekend in his first fight in the UK for two years
Amir Khan expects to get back into world title contention with victory over Mexico's Julio Diaz this weekend.
The former world light welterweight champion is rebuilding his career after controversially losing his WBA and IBF belts to Lamont Peterson in 2011 and then failing to take the WBC equivalent off Danny Garcia last year. He began his road back to the top by stopping Carlos Molina last December and Garcia could come back into his sights if he can overcome Diaz in Sheffield.
The 25-year-old said: "This fight will straight away elevate us back into world-title fights. But I am not thinking any further than this fight yet. I just want to get through this one and then we will know exactly where we are."
The fight at the Motorpoint Arena, billed as 'The Return of the King', will be Khan's first in the UK for two years.
The non-title bout has been set at a 143-pound "catch weight" - between super lightweight and welterweight - with Khan stepping up and California-based veteran Diaz, a former world lightweight champion, coming down in weight from his most recent fights.
Khan said: "I need to thank Julio Diaz for coming all the way from America. Not many fighters do what I do - I go to their hometown or home country and fight them there, with my world titles.
"But no-one likes to come to me and fight in my home country, so it is great Julio Diaz has shown bottle and come over."
The fight is the highlight of a packed card which also sees Khan's younger brother Haroon make his professional debut in a four-round super flyweight contest against Bulgaria's Stefan Slavchev.
Haroon Khan, 21, won 66 fights as an amateur and Amir thinks he is ready for the step up.
Amir Khan said: "As long as he is disciplined and trains hard I am sure he can go all the way. I want to advise him from day one, all the way to the top."