Bolton’s Amir Khan promises ‘special and successful night’ in UK boxing return against Julio Diaz

By Michael Kelleher

Bolton boxer Amir Khan has vowed to deliver a big performance against Julio Diaz on April 27 at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena.

The bout is Khan’s first in the UK since his 2011 sixth-round stoppage of Paul McCloskey and will take place at a catch-weight of 143 pounds.

Mexican former world champion Diaz will pose a stiff test for Khan but he is confident he can impress in rival Kell Brook’s backyard.

“April 27 is going to be a special night,” he said. “It’s been two years since I last fought in the United Kingdom and I can’t wait to get in the ring in front of my fans.

“Julio Diaz is a former world champion and a very dangerous opponent who is coming off of an impressive performance in his last fight.

“I know he will be coming with guns blazing and I’m ready for whatever he has to throw at me.

“With my speed and boxing skills, and his power and experience, it makes for a really exciting matchup.

“He may have other ideas but I’m adamant that my return to the British shores is going to be a very successful one.”

Khan’s career has stalled in recent times after losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia led to his split from legendary trainer Freddie Roach.

He has since hired Virgil Hunter as his trainer and looked impressive when stopping Carlos Molina in the tenth round of their December bout.

Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya has backed Khan to recapture his previous world championship form but acknowledged Diaz is a difficult opponent.

“We’re excited to return to England and bring the loyal British fans the return of Amir Khan,” he said.

“Amir is closing in on a shot at regaining his world champion status and I know he’s going to use the energy from the crowd in Sheffield to motivate him.

“Standing in his way will be a dangerous opponent in Julio Diaz, who is on a hot streak of his own that he expects to keep intact in England.”

Diaz, 33, has 29 career knockouts on his resume and said he is planning use his power to take advantage of Khan’s suspect chin.

“I’m not going to England for the fight to go to the scorecards.  I’m fighting for the knockout,” said Diaz.  

“I know the knockout is the only thing that will get me the win, so I’m training extra hard already in order to get a victory on Khan’s home turf.  

“I’m a heavy hitter and he can’t take a punch, so to me, that is the perfect combination.”

Golden Boy also confirmed new signing Anthony Ogogo, a London 2012 bronze medallist, will make his middleweight professional debut in Sheffield against an unnamed opponent.

Image courtesy of Sky Sports, via Youtube, with thanks

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