Amir Khan is now a Las Vegas star with his name in lights, and he is convinced that the man who knocked him senseless in 2008 made it all possible.
Khan fights the dangerous American Zab Judah in a double world-title showdown at the Mandalay Bay tonight in what will be his fifth defence of a career that looked over in 2008 when Breidis Prescott destroyed him in 60 seconds.
"I was winning my fights easily and taking it all for granted before Prescott beat me," claimed Khan. "He made me realise that nothing can be taken for granted in boxing and that loss made me become the champion that I am.
"I had to get serious about my career and that is why I went off to America and joined Freddie Roach right after the fight. It was make-or-break time and I was determined to prove a lot of people wrong and fight my way back into contention."
Amazingly, Khan was guided to a world title just 10 months after the shocking Prescott fight and now, after four defences, he is the main attraction in the world's fight capital.
"I'm from the UK and Judah is from America but I feel like the home fighter and I think I will have more support on the night," added Khan. "It has been an amazing turnaround and I'm just getting closer now to a place in the top five pound-for-pound best fighters in the world.
"Judah is a real test and beating him in style will add to my credentials and make me even bigger on the world stage. I want a massive homecoming fight next year because my fans have been loyal – they were there when I was down and they are still there."
Judah has held five world titles at two different weights and enters the ring tonight as the IBF light-welterweight champion with a big reputation as a tricky fighter. "I look at Khan and I can't believe that anybody thinks he can beat me – it will be man against boy," insisted Judah. "I've shared the ring with the best fighters from the last 12 years and this kid is not in their league."
"I'm going to show Khan how the big boys do their business in Vegas and he is still young enough to come back after I finish with him," warned Judah, who has knocked out 28 of his 41 victims.
Khan starts as the slight betting favourite in the gambling city and the odds makers in Sin City seldom make mistakes.
The fight will be broadcast live on Primetime pay-per-view in the UK
Tale Of The Tape
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Tonight
Amir Khan (Bolton)
Age 24; Fights 26: Won 25 – 17 by stoppage: Lost one. WBA light-welterweight champion.
Zab Judah (New York)
Age 33; Fights 49: Won 41 – 28 by stoppage: Lost six. IBF light-welterweight champion.Reuse content