Amir Khan will defend his WBA light-welterweight title against the European champion Paul McCloskey on 16 April. In his first fight on home soil since 2009, the Briton will face the Northern Irishman at the MEN Arena in Manchester.
"Home is home and I love fighting in England," Khan said yesterday. "Not many people can afford to travel all the way to America to see me fight. McCloskey's not a pay-per-view fighter and he agrees with that."
Khan fought in the United States last year, defeating Paulie Malignaggi and Marcos Maidana. The 24-year-old has a career record of 24 wins (17 knockouts) and one loss.
There had been speculation that Khan's next defence would be against Victor Ortiz or Zab Judah. But he has settled for the 31-year-old McCloskey, who is 22-0, but has yet to meet anyone of Khan's pedigree.
"I've never really met him but he's meant to be a great fighter, undefeated and European champion," Khan said of McCloskey. "It's going to be a big night for me. He's a tough guy. For him, it's going to be a big fight. He'll be fighting for a world title. I'm giving him that chance."
Khan also said he wants to meet the WBC and WBO champion, Timothy Bradley, before stepping up a division to fight Floyd Mayweather Jnr. "I want to unify the division in the summer," Khan said. "My dream is to become pound for pound champion of the world."