Amir Khan has vowed to earn a fight with Floyd Mayweather on his own terms as he prepares to end what will be a 13-month absence from the ring with a place on the pound-for-pound superstar’s undercard in Las Vegas on 3 May.
Khan will make his welterweight debut against American Luis Collazo, who pushed Ricky Hatton all the way in Hatton’s own 147lbs bow six years ago before the Manchester man edged a disputed points verdict.
Khan has admitted making mistakes in his relentless pursuit of Mayweather, including passing up a shot at the then IBF champion Devon Alexander late last year before Mayweather chose instead to face former Khan foe, Marcos Maidana.
Khan, who has not fought since a poor points win over Julio Diaz in Sheffield last April, said: “I do regret a few things and I should have taken the Alexander fight because I’d have been a world champion now.
“Obviously that didn’t happen then the Mayweather fight fell through. I should have got one more fight in and it’s a mistake that I will never make again.
“Mayweather decided not to take the fight with me, probably because he thought I would be the first to take away his unbeaten record, and is now fighting somebody I’ve already beaten.
“I think the fight with Mayweather will happen one day, but I’m not rushing and it will happen when I’m ready.
“I’ve spoken to Floyd on the phone and he’s told me it’s nothing personal and he still wants to fight me, but I’m not going to think about that. The whole thing has improved me physically and mentally and I am ready to come back.”
Khan will have a lot to prove in the glare of the Las Vegas spotlight and he could have chosen a much easier first welterweight foe than the notoriously awkward southpaw Collazo.
The 32-year-old has hung around the top level since losing to Hatton and his recent streak of four straight wins was highlighted by a stunning second-round stoppage of the former world champion, Victor Ortiz, in January.
Khan added: “Collazo is a very dangerous fighter and he’s beaten Ortiz so it proves that I want to move up in weight and take on the big fights from the start.
“But being out of the ring for so long has helped me work on a lot of different things that you usually wouldn’t get the time to focus on when you’re in a training camp for a fight.
“It has come at the right time for my move up in weight, and it is going to make a massive difference. You’ll see a different fighter – better, more skilled, patient and smarter. I can’t wait to get back in there and cause some hurt.”