Boxing: Khan insists he's a new man

Amir Khan has told fans he is a new man and a different fighter ahead of his first bout in the UK for two years.

Amir Khan, Boxing

Khan is bidding to re-establish himself after damaging back-to-back world title defeats to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia in the United States in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

The Bolton fighter has returned to Britain to take on Mexico's Julio Diaz in Sheffield on Saturday and is confident he has learned from past mistakes.

He stopped Carlos Molina on his last outing in December and believes another victory will put him back in the world title frame.

The 25-year-old, speaking at his pre-fight press conference, said: "It is a new Amir Khan coming back to England after two years.

"The last time they saw me here was against Paul McCloskey and I am a totally different fighter now.

"When I used to get in trouble, when under pressure, I used to go back to my old self but people will see a new guy and I hope they like the new style I bring to the table.

"It is going to be an amazing show, we are all looking forward to it. I will cause fireworks and it will be a brilliant fight.

"I won't let my fans down. Hopefully on Saturday we will be back to winning ways and it will take us to bigger fights."

Khan's career hit a crossroads after he was controversially relieved of his WBA and IBF light welterweight belts by Peterson and then failed to take the WBC equivalent off Garcia.

Since then he has engaged a new trainer in American Vergil Hunter and Khan has warned Diaz that any weaknesses he thinks he may have seen in his style have now been eradicated.

Khan said: "Julio is working on the old Amir Khan, that is what he is doing.

"There is a new Amir Khan now and he has not seen him yet. "

"If he wants to work with the old Amir Khan he can do, but he'll be in for a shock on Saturday."

The fight is the highlight of a packed card at the Motorpoint Arena which also features the first professional appearances of Khan's brother Haroon and London 2012 bronze medallist Anthony Ogogo.

Heavyweight Audley Harrison is also in action against unbeaten American Deontay Wilder.

Khan's 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 coming down.

Diaz, 33, is a former world lightweight champion but has been reinventing himself at welterweight after past setbacks.

He knocked out Henry Aurad and Hector Sanchez last year and drew his last fight against Shawn Porter.

Diaz said: "Everybody was counting me out, saying I was done. With all those critics saying I don't have it any more - I am here.

"For my last fight I was on the undercard to Amir, at the press conference on the bottom table.

"I said I didn't belong there, now I am here, at the top, where I belong.

"I am back, I am a refreshed fighter and people are going to see that."



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