Amir Khan agreed to face Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez after growing "desperate" for a super fight and feared he would not return from hand surgery.
The former world champion ends a lengthy absence against Phil Lo Greco in Liverpool this Saturday night, live on Sky Sports, which is almost two years since a knockout loss to Alvarez in Las Vegas.
Khan’s bold move up to middleweight to challenge Alvarez was brutally ended in the sixth round, but the 31-year-old revealed how his fruitless pursuit of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao had made him impatient for a big-name bout.
Speaking on Amir Khan: Off Limits, he said: There’s fights I’ve wanted, like for example the Floyd Mayweather fight – that was talked about for years and years, and didn’t happen.
The Manny Pacquiao fight, which was talked about and didn’t happen, so you do kind of fall out of love [with boxing].
The reason I took the ‘Canelo’ fight is because I got quite desperate.
I really wanted a big super fight and I wanted my name up on the Vegas strip. It’s always been my dream.
The Mayweather fight got so close many times, which never seemed to happen.
Khan insists there are no lingering mental scars from the knockout, although he did have concerns about whether he could recover physically from a hand operation.
I’ve been knocked out before and I’ve come back from it, winning world titles, said Khan.
The mistake I made in there was my own fault. I dropped my left hand and I got caught over the top with Canelo’s right hand.
I would rather be knocked out with one big shot instead of taking numerous punches and getting stopped that way, so I’m glad it was just that one shot.
Should I have taken that fight? Maybe not. It was a massive opportunity for me. I don’t regret it no.
If I never took that fight I would have always thought ‘what would have happened?’ He beat me that night. He was the better fighter that night.
My hand was always bad. I was quite scared to get it operated on.
After the Canelo fight, is when I decided to get it fixed properly. It took me a little bit longer to recover from the hand op than it should have. At one stage I did think that maybe this is it.
Watch Amir Khan: Off Limits at 9pm this Tuesday on Sky Sports Action.
Watch Khan vs Lo Greco from Liverpool, live on Saturday, April 21, on Sky Sports Main Event & Action, from 7.00pm.