Amir Khan headlines in Las Vegas in his welterweight showdown with Devon Alexander with hope that victory will earn him a meeting with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Where to watch:
Khan v Alexander is available to watch live on Sky Sports 1 with the broadcast scheduled to get underway at 02:00am (GMT) on Saturday, 13 December.
December, Khan v Alexander - we've been here before, haven't we? A meeting between these two was initially put forward this time last year before the showdown was shelved. Khan's camp instead decided to push for a clash with Mayweather in May but the Bolton-born fighter was overlooked in favour of Marcos Maidana, despite winning an online fan poll to determine his next opponent.
Khan instead settled for a spot on the undercard, dominating Luis Collazo to extend his record to 29-3. Since then, the 28-year-old has been vocal in his desire to take on the best the weight class has to offer, while a long-awaited meeting with his old adversary Kell Brook has also been mooted, although the IBF world champion's stabbing in August delayed such plans.
Under the guidance of Virgil Hunter, Khan's resurgence following those back to back defeats to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia has been impressive. While some continue to question the legitimacy of his attempts to become the welterweight division's king, a win over Alexander will certainly heighten calls for the showdown with Mayweather he is so desperately seeking.
While he has not ruled out signing a contract extension, Mayweather has just two fights left remaining on his current Showtime deal and has openly discussed the possibility of retiring in September 2015. Given that timescale, Khan cannot afford to slip up at the MGM Grand on Saturday.
While a victory for 28-year-old Alexander (26-2) may not be enough to earn him a ticket for a showdown with the five-weight world champion, it will once again elevate him into the upper echelons of the welterweight division. His loss to Shawn Porter by a unanimous decision last year cost him his place at that level but the Missouri-born fighter is more than capable of reclaiming it in Vegas this weekend, perhaps at the expense of Khan.
What they've said:
Khan: "Winning this fight [against Alexander] could lead to a massive fight but I'm not looking past it because I know it's a dangerous fight.
"I've made the mistake before with fights I should have gone in and won. I'm 28 today and I'm still learning and I'm still hungry and I just have to pace myself and take my time.
"I think every fighter in the welterweight division wants that big fight against Floyd and as a hungry fighter you want to fight and beat the best.
"Some styles cause problems for Floyd and some styles are made for him. You never want to leave boxing thinking 'what would have happened if I'd fought someone like Floyd?'."
Alexander: "He's a good fighter, but I just don't see anything special that Amir Khan does. From me you're going to see versatility, power, speed, movement - all of it. I'm going to be ready. I'm excited.
"There's going to come a time in the fight when I'll put pressure on him and rough him up a bit," he said. "I know he doesn't like that.
"We've been working with a lot of sparring partners where I've had to go in and go for the body. I don't think he likes body shots either."
Khan – 29 wins (19 via knockout), three losses
(W) Luis Collazo – unanimous decision – May 2014
(W) Julio Diaz – unanimous decision – April 2013
(W) Carlos Molina – technical knockout December 2012
Alexander – 26 wins (14 via knockout), two losses
(W) Jesus Soto Karass – unanimous decision – June 2014
(L) Shawn Porter – unanimous decision – December 2013
(W) Lee Purdy – referee technical decision – May 2013
Khan's improvement under Virgil Hunter coupled with his unwavering motivation to earn a meeting with Mayweather should see him secure victory, but Alexander will take rounds off the Brit. Khan win via split decision.
Rest of card:
- Keith Thurman v Leonard Bundu
- Abner Mares v Jose Ramirez
- Jermall Charlo v Lenny Bottai