Amir Khan Must Dispatch Julio Diaz to Set Up Run at Floyd Mayweather

Justin OnslowContributor IIApril 26, 2013

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - APRIL 26: Amir Khan (L) and Julio Diaz during the official weigh in at English Institute of Sport on April 26, 2013 in Sheffield, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

British light welterweight fighter Amir Khan is coming off some tough losses that have derailed his path to a title, but the 26-year-old isn’t letting anything stand in the way of his triumphant return to dominance and a potential super-fight in the near future.

Khan (27-3) is fresh off a win against Carlos Molina last December, but his previous two fights weren’t as generous to the fighter. He dropped a bout to Lamont Peterson a year earlier and followed up that disappointment with a defeat at the hands of Danny Garcia—the second and third losses of his career.

The former IBF titleholder has a chance to rebuild his momentum for a comeback Saturday evening, however, scheduled to take on Julio Diaz and his 40-7 record. With a win against Diaz, Khan will be on the right track to potentially set up a fight with undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr.

According to Gareth A. Davis of Telegraph Sport, the English fighter is just “three wins away from a big-money bout with Floyd Mayweather,” and quotes Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer as sharing the same belief:

Is this the fight which could propel Amir Khan back on the path to Floyd Mayweather? Yes, absolutely. Ideally, Amir will box sensationally on Saturday night, get married, go on his honeymoon and then Ramadan, and come back in December and fight the winner of the four-man tournament between Danny Garcia, Zab Judah, Lamont Peterson and Lucas Mathysse.

Mayweather is undeniably the biggest target for any fighter looking to make a leap to boxing stardom, and provided Robert Guerrero doesn’t dispatch him May 4, Khan has to believe he’ll have a chance to end Mayweather’s undefeated streak should they face in the near future.

But a bout with the pound-for-pound kingpin won’t be in the cards if Khan fails to beat Diaz Saturday night. In fact, a third loss in four fights may spell the end for the fighter’s hopes of ever earning another superfight going forward.

Khan will have plenty of motivation to avoid that scenario, however. Apart from the possibility of lining up a fight with Mayweather, his fight with Diaz may be Khan’s last in England.

As quoted by David Anderson of Mirror Sport, the 26-year-old doesn’t know if he will fight again in his home country:

It's good to be back fighting in England. This could be one of my last times. The bigger fights will be in the US, but because I had this fight with Julio Diaz, I thought I would bring it back home.

It’s not hard to predict what fight he has in mind, either. There are few up-and-coming boxers without designs of taking down Mayweather.

It would take a major stumble for Khan to not upend his 33-year-old counterpart, though. With speed, power and youth on his side, Khan holds a definitive advantage in this fight. Provided he avoids his tendency to be overly aggressive and sticks to his game plan, there’s no reason Khan can’t find himself two fights from a mega-fight with Mayweather in the coming year.