Tag Archives: molina

Audley Harrison to fight Deontay Wilder on April 27 in Sheffield

Harrison confirms showdown with American Wilder on Khan undercard in Sheffield

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

18:51 GMT, 25 March 2013

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UPDATED:

20:01 GMT, 25 March 2013

Audley Harrison has agreed to fight American heavyweight hope Deontay Wilder on April 27 in Sheffield.

The 41-year-old bounced back from a brutal defeat to David Price by winning Prizefighter for a second time last month.

But Wilder will prove to be an altogether different proposition having stopped every one of his 27 opponents to date.

A-Force: Audley Harrison will be back in action for the first time since winning Prizefighter in February

A-Force: Audley Harrison will be back in action for the first time since winning Prizefighter in February

Big stage: Deontay Wilder (right) was on the undercard of Amir Khan's win against Carlos Molina in December

Big stage: Deontay Wilder (right) was on the undercard of Amir Khan's win against Carlos Molina in December

Harrison confirmed on Twitter that he has accepted the fight at five weeks notice and expects to be added to the undercard of Amir Khan’s homecoming against Julio Diaz.

Wilder has long been groomed as America’s next world heavyweight champion but has been largely untested since turning professional more than four years ago.

The 27-year-old fought outside of the United States for the first time in January when beating Matthew Greer in Mexico and has never been past the fourth round of a fight.

Hailing from Alabama, he won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing despite having had just 30 amateur fights.

Homecoming: Khan will top the bill in Sheffield when he takes on Julio Diaz

Homecoming: Khan will top the bill in Sheffield when he takes on Julio Diaz

Harrison, meanwhile, still harbours hopes of winning a world title despite his defeats to Price and David Haye.

He earned plaudits for his performances in beating Claus Bertino, Martin Rogan and Derric Rossy at York Hall but will have his work cut out against Wilder.

Indeed, the pair sparred in preparation for Harrison’s fight with Price with the veteran admitting: ‘Deontay Wilder punches like a mule, and he’s fast. I had four weeks of him, and some days he was catching me with clean shots.’

TALE OF THE TAPE

Audley Harrison

Born: London
Age: 41
Height: 6’ 5 1/2”
Weight 234lb
Record 31(23)-6
Nickname: A-Force

Deontay Wilder

Born: Alabama
Age: 27
Height: 6’ 7”
Weight 240lb
Record 27(27)-0
Nickname: The Bronze Bomber

Amir Khan hopes to "laugh in Kell Brook"s face" by proving he has more fans in Sheffield

Khan hopes to 'laugh in Kell Brook's face' by proving he has more fans than his rival does in his home town of Sheffield

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

00:49 GMT, 6 March 2013

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UPDATED:

02:11 GMT, 6 March 2013

Amir Khan has revealed he cannot wait to fight in Sheffield – because he wants to ‘laugh in Kell Brook’s face’ about having more fans than Brook does in his home town.

The former world champion is to fight Mexican Julio Diaz in Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena on April 27 at a catchweight of 143lbs, and though he is adamant he will return to 140lbs to avenge defeats against Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, he couldn’t resist a dig at welterweight Brook, his long-time rival.

'We’ll show him how we sell tickets,' said Khan, whose fight against Diaz is his first in the UK for two years.

Last laugh: Amir Khan believes he will sell out the Motorpoint Arena because he has more Sheffield-based fans than Kell Brook

Last laugh: Amir Khan believes he will sell out the Motorpoint Arena because he has more Sheffield-based fans than Kell Brook

'It’ll show that I probably have more
fans than him in his home town. That’s a laugh in his face, really. But I
don’t think about fighting him yet – he has to prove himself.'

Brook is to fight Devon Alexander for the IBF welterweight title in May and, if victorious, interest in a fight between he and Khan is certain to grow, something the latter says he will welcome once he has achieved his ambitions as a light welterweight and moved up to the 147lb division.

'I have nothing against Kell Brook,' says Khan. 'I don't care about him or think about him. He has to prove himself. At the moment he's not on my radar or anything.

'Spectacular': Julio Diaz was impressed with Khan's performance against Carlos Molina

'Spectacular': Julio Diaz was impressed with Khan's performance against Carlos Molina

'If I move up to 147 then definitely I would fight him, but it's six to nine months before I do move up. When I do, I'm not someone who says no and I would take that fight.

'I still want to fight at 140 and win titles at that weight and then move up to 147 as a world champion.

'There are still two fights out there at 140 against Petersen and Garcia – they are fights I want and that are there for me, so I don't see why I should move up.'

Battle of Britain Interest in Kell Brook fighting Amir Khan continues to grow

Battle of Britain Interest in Kell Brook fighting Amir Khan continues to grow

Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley were among those mentioned as potential opponents for Khan, with Peterson and Vyacheslav Senchenko, who retired Ricky Hatton in November, understood to have rejected official offers to fight him. As a consequence Diaz has been viewed as an underwhelming opponent, but he is one Khan is adamant will not be easy.

'We got the fight I wanted,' he said. 'Not many would take this fight on so I have a lot of respect for Diaz for taking it.

'People will turn us down because they know this is a tough fight, even though last year wasn't our best. We tried with some and it didn't happen, which is why I left England for a training camp without doing any press as I didn't have a secure opponent.'

Back on form: Khan followed two straight losses with a 10th-round stoppage of Molina

Back on form: Khan followed two straight losses with a 10th-round stoppage of Molina

For Diaz, the next fight represents the biggest of his career after his last was a draw against Shawn Porter on the undercard of Khan's 10th-round stoppage victory over Carlos Molina, the 2004 Olympian's first with trainer Virgil Hunter, and one in which the Mexican felt Khan simply could not be criticised.

'I have to say he was spectacular,' Diaz said. 'He looked a whole different fighter. Virgil has done a very good job with him, but I have a very good team and, when I get in the ring in Sheffield, it will be a very proud moment.

'Amir has been a superstar since he started and has been treated like one. I’ve struggled to get attention by winning performances and knockouts, but it’s just made me work harder.'

Tickets for Amir Khan vs. Julio Diaz can be purchased from www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk or by calling 0114 256 5656.

Amir Khan: I don"t want sad end like Ricky Hatton

I do not want a sad end like Ricky! Khan vows to quit in three years, aged only 29

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UPDATED:

23:19 GMT, 19 December 2012

Amir Khan is mapping out a six-fight finish to his career, determined he will not emulate Ricky Hatton's 'sad' exit from the ring.

Khan bounced back from two straight defeats with a comprehensive stoppage of the previously unbeaten Carlos Molina in Los Angeles at the weekend, putting himself on course for a rematch with Danny Garcia and then, hopefully, Floyd Mayweather Jnr in 2014.

But after seeing Hatton's comeback after a three-year absence end with a crushing stoppage defeat to Ukraine's Vyacheslav Senchenko last month, the 26-year-old Bolton fighter wants to make sure he has fulfilled all his ambitions in the sport before quitting for good.

Battle plan: Khan is hopeful of a rematch with Danny Garcia next year, but is determined not to end up like Hatton (below)

Battle plan: Khan is hopeful of a rematch with Garcia, but is determined not to end up like Hatton (below)

Ricky Hatton

'It was very sad,' said Khan. 'People asked me what I thought about him coming back and I said he shouldn't. He wanted to prove a point. He's a trier but at least now it will never be in the back of his mind.'

Khan added: 'I never want to be in that position where you retire and then come back after three years.

'When I retire it will be because I want to retire and I don't want to achieve anything more from boxing. 'It's important to leave the sport as you walked into it – being healthy and being a champion.

Handy: Khan triumphed over Molina on Saturday after two back-to-back defeats

Handy: Khan triumphed over Molina on Saturday after two consecutive defeats

'I know a lot of fighters when they retire want to go back in because they have unfinished business. I don't want to go that way. If I have unfinished business, I wouldn't retire.

'I will know myself when to call it a day. I will let my body make the decision. And when the time is right to retire, I will.'

Khan believes that will be in three years' time. He wants another go at Garcia, who took his WBA light-welterweight title in July, towards the end of next year and then plans to step up to face Mayweather Jnr in 2014.

Amir Khan

Carlos Molina

Bloody mess: The bout was stopped after the tenth round after Molina sustained a nasty cut above his left eye

'At 28 or 29 I will call it a day,' he added. 'I'm 26 years old now and I think in three years I can have six fights – and they can be six big fights. But I'm in no rush. Mayweather wants to fight for a couple more years.'

Khan added: 'In my career, I think we will definitely have a Mayweather fight. 'I want to fight in April but that won't be against Garcia because he is fighting in February against Zab Judah.

'I'm getting married in May, then I have a break because of Ramadan so I will fight at the end of the year. 'Two fights next year, and one of them will be Danny Garcia.'

Ambition: Khan is looking to the future in his role as co-owner and co-promoter of Golden Boy UK

Ambition: Khan is looking to the future in his role as co-owner and co-promoter of Golden Boy UK

The end of Khan's career could have arrived a lot sooner had he not dispatched Molina in impressive fashion, forcing the outclassed American to quit on his stool at the end of the 10th round.

It was viewed as a make-or-break fight for Khan after those defeats to Lamont Peterson and Garcia, and a third successive loss would have permanently damaged his reputation – with Khan unsure that he could have accepted the consequences.

'It would have made me an undercard fighter,' he added. 'I would not have packed it in, but it would have been very hard for me to come back.

'Confidence-wise, not being top of the bill, the main attraction, would be hard, especially because from day one coming from the amateurs I went to being the top of the bill. It would have been totally different, that's what I meant.

Centre of attention: Khan speaks to the assembled media on Wednesday

Centre of attention: Khan speaks to the assembled media on Wednesday

'I have been in the position where it was nearly over. That has motivated me and makes me train harder. I never want to be in that position again.'

Khan is already looking to the future in his role as co-owner and co-promoter of Golden Boy UK with Oscar de la Hoya, an offshoot of his American promoters.

His first aim is to recruit some of Great Britain's boxing medallists from London 2012, including Luke Campbell, Anthony Joshua, Fred Evans and Anthony Agogo – and he has not ruled out trying to sign up Nicola Adams, the winner of the first women's Olympic boxing gold medal, as well.

'Definitely,' he said. 'I think it would be a great idea to get a girl to turn pro because we've never had a professional like that with Olympic pedigree. It's something for the future.

'But I want to keep it exclusive. I want the Olympians. 'Maybe the heavyweight and some of the lighter weights – the middleweight, the welterweight. 'My brother Haroon is going to be part of it. You don't want too many fighters. You want the right fighters and the ones that will be good for us. I won't rush into it and sign everyone, I will just pick the best.'

Amir Khan will fight twice in 2013 after Showtime deal

Khan will fight twice in 2013 with first bout in April after striking Showtime deal

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UPDATED:

20:29 GMT, 18 December 2012

Amir Khan will return to the ring in April – and fight just twice next year – after signing a deal with Showtime in the United States.

The 26-year-old ended a run of two successive defeats by stopping Carlos Molina last Saturday and could target rematches with Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson in 2013.

Molina was retired by his corner after the tenth round having suffered a nasty cut around his left eye during the fight in Los Angeles.

Signed up: Amir Khan (left) will fight twice in 2013 after deal with Showtime

Signed up: Amir Khan (left) will fight twice in 2013 after deal with Showtime

‘It was offered to us and to Amir, and we liked the terms and decided to do it,’ Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN. ‘We want to do big fights with Amir and so does Showtime.

‘There could be a rematch with Danny Garcia, but there are also other big names.

‘Maybe a rematch with Lamont Peterson, maybe a Victor Ortiz, Devon Alexander or Andre Berto, when Amir moves up to welterweight.’

Khan’s schedule has been designed to fit around his wedding in April and to allow him to observe Ramadan.

Timetables: Khan's schedule operates around his wedding and Ramadan

Timetables: Khan's schedule operates around his wedding and Ramadan

Schaefer also confirmed that Khan’s hands were not fractured following his emphatic victory.

‘He got his hands checked out because they were swollen, but nothing seems to be broken,’ he added.

‘He is excited about the deal and we discussed some of the different possibilities for him next year.’

Amir Khan suffers fractured hands in Carlos Molina win

Khan's plan for world domination could be derailed by fractured hands

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UPDATED:

10:56 GMT, 17 December 2012

Amir Khan faces an anxious wait to discover when he can return to action after fracturing both hands during his comprehensive stoppage of Carlos Molina on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Brit took the first step towards rebuilding his career following successive world title defeats to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia.

Molina was pulled out by his corner at the end of the 10th round having suffered a nasty cut during a lop-sided contest.

Demolition: Amir Khan eased to a comprehensive victory over Carlos Molina

Demolition: Amir Khan eased to a comprehensive victory over Carlos Molina

Khan had his hands checked by a doctor last night and will visit hospital today for a further update.

A common injury among boxers, the rehabilitation period can be up to five months depending on whether surgery is required.

That could rule Khan out until next summer, upsetting his plans to fight Josesito Lopez in the spring before rematches with Garcia and Peterson later in the year.

Costly: Khan fractured both hands during his victory in Los Angeles on Saturday

Costly: Khan fractured both hands during his victory in Los Angeles on Saturday

A picture of the light-welterweight's damaged hands was posted on Twitter yesterday, which followed a revelation from his former trainer Freddie Roach who said last week that Khan was wary of throwing his right hand after hurting his wrist.

Khan is now working with Virgil Hunter, who also trains super-middleweight world champion Andre Ward, and was delighted with his return to the ring.

'I thought I stuck to my gameplan and
was keeping faith in my jab,' he said. 'Carlos took some really good
shots but was still coming forward, so I thought to myself I'd better
stick to this gameplan.

Back on track: Khan hopes to fight for a world title next year after his victory

Back on track: Khan hopes to fight for a world title next year after his victory

'Virgil
Hunter, my new coach, is a great trainer and I'm getting better at
boxing, being a complete fighter. He's teaching me things, like speed,
patience, picking the right shots and when to throw them.

'Sometimes I'm too brave for my own good but now I know it is better to stick to a gameplan.'

Amir Khan v Carlos Molina LIVE

LIVE: Amir Khan v Carlos Molina – round-by-round coverage of the big fight

Amir Khan goes head-to-head with Carlos Molina in what is a make or break fight for the Bolton boxer. After successive defeats to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, Khan sacked trainer Freddie Roach and teamed up with Virgil Hunter. He will be expected to kick off the new era with victory in Los Angeles.

Email your thoughts to [email protected] or via Twitter @martin_domin

Back on track: Amir Khan celebrates

Back on track: Amir Khan celebrates

6.15am: That's all from me. Stay with us for all the fall-out from LA and in the New Year when we will continue to bring you the best boxing coverage at home and abroad.

6am: I wouldn't want anyone to get carried away with this result, just as people shouldn't have gotten carried away with the Garcia defeat. Molina was a hand-picked opponent who only stood standing because he is pretty tough. Khan's hands were fast, as they always are, he looked sharp and he put his punches together well. But he was helped by the cut around Molina's eye and the gulf in class.

Read the full report here.

5.50am: That was a sensible stoppage from the corner there and it could have come a couple of rounds earlier.

In his post-fight interview, Khan says he wants a rematch with Danny Garcia who was ringside tonight.

ALL OVER ! AMIR KHAN BEATS CARLOS MOLINA

Round 10: Molina does come out with more fight in the 10th as he tries to land shots of his own but Khan can almost move in slow motion and still avoid them. The referee is over to the corner again at the bell and this time Molina is pulled out.

Round 9: Blood is pouring from Molina's eye and surely he won't be allowed back out after this session He can't get close to Khan despite charging forward and Khan picks him off with ease. The referee talks to the corner and makes it clear the home favourite must show something else he will call it off 10-9

Round 8: Molina may not be stopped but the gulf in class is apparent in every round. Khan dances around the ring, landing at will with his sharp one-two-three punch combinations. The Mexican-American's eye is examined at the break but he's OK to continue 10-9

Round 7: I didn't think we'd get to the second half to be honest, but here we are. There is very little coming back from Molina now. He tries to land with the odd left but all the good work is coming from Khan. He connects with strong right hand in the final minute of the round but otherwise, he is content to keep Molina at bay with the jab 10-9

Round 6: Another quieter round as Khan fights in bursts. Coming in off the jab, he lets his hands go and then gets out. Nice work once again. The ridiculous thing is that whenever he is hit, the crowd seem to think he's going down. A huge over-reaction after Garcia 10-9

Easy pickings: Khan landed with increasing regularity against an outclassed Molina

Easy pickings: Khan landed with increasing regularity against an outclassed Molina

Round 5: Credit to Molina, he keeps coming forward, taking his punishment and then marching on again. He does manage to land a left flush on Khan but the response is another flurry of fast punches which will be catching the eye much more than the home favourite's solitary jabs. The pace slowed in that round but another one to the Brit 10-9

Round 4: Big session for Khan as he switches from head to body before peppering Molina with a barrage of shots. His speed is incredible at times. Molina stands up well though and is nothing if not tough. He fights back a little towards the end of the round but the stoppage is surely coming 10-9

Round 3: A quiet start to the round but Molina catches Khan again with a swinging right only for the Brit to land several flurries of his own. He then gets the better of an exchange on the ropes, finding the target with the uppercut. Molina's eye is getting worse and won't help him see Khan's fast hands coming at him. 10-9

Round 2: Molina comes out swinging with the left, and misses. He has a reach disadvantage and is repeatedly out of range as Khan lands his combinations with relative ease. The Brit also moves downstairs with the right hand though but is caught flush on the face by Molina. Just as well he's not a bigger puncher or that might have been serious 10-9

Round 1: Khan doesn't waste time in getting to work, rushing at Molina from the first bell. Khan takes a right but there is already bad markings around his opponent's left eye. Khan controls the centre of the ring and uses his speed well, doubling up on the jab as Molina struggles to throw anything back. His eye is already a mess. My score (Khan first): 10-9.

Flush: Khan was on top from the first bell as Molina found himself overwhelmed

Flush: Khan was on top from the first bell as Molina found himself overwhelmed

5.05am: Khan is in the ring. This is his first non-world title fight for well over three years when he fought Marco Antonio Barrera .

5am: Here we go, it's ring walk time…

4.45am: It's all over! Wilder keeps up his remarkable record as a huge overhand right sends Price to the canvas and he does not recover. Now it's time for Khan.

4.40am: So far, so uninspiring from these two. Neither seem too willing to open up just yet. Boos from the crowd already.

4.35am: Both boxers in this next fight are unbeaten. Wilder has won all 25 of his bouts inside four rounds which is some record. Price meanwhile has won six of his 13 inside the scheduled distance.

This contest should tell certainly tell us more about Wilder. Is he really the next big heavyweight hope for the US

4.25am: Angulo has won the decision over Silva but Khan won't be next. Heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Kelvin Price are due in the ring first.

Hard fought: Alfredo Angulo (left) on his way to victory over Jorge Silva

Hard fought: Alfredo Angulo (left) on his way to victory over Jorge Silva

4.20am: Ward has had the following to say about Khan: 'I've seen an improvement. He's listening and willing to learn and that has been his first step. I think he's going to pull through in a big way. He only knows one way to fight, he's very eager and very zealous but [under Hunter] a little more patient and you're going to see a better Amir Khan.'

4,15am: We should have Khan in the ring within the next 20 minutes. Alfredo Angulo's bout with Jorge Silva are in the eighth of 10 rounds and the Brit is next.

4.10am: Meanwhile, in Texas, Nonito Donaire has beaten Jorge Arce inside three rounds to retain his WBO super-bantamweight title. The 'Filipino Flash' would be a daunting prospect for either of Britain's rising stars in the division, Carl Frampton or Scott Quigg.

4.05am: As I also said, assuming Khan wins this, and wins it well, I don't think we can read too much into it, unless there is a marked difference in the way he fights.

Yes, Andre Ward is among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world but how much of that is down to Virgil Hunter and if the answer is a lot, how much of that coaching is transferable to Khan

Khan's problem has been ignoring instructions, choosing to go for the spectacular win and impress the crowd.

Well, there isn't much of a crowd to impress in LA… but regardless, he needs to start using his brain.

4am: Two things I'd like to point out. One, I think Khan lost to Peterson although the failed drugs test changes that a lot. And two, I don't believe he has a particularly suspect chin. The first punch from Garcia would have scrambled anybody's brain and lets not forget that Khan stood up to the best Marcos Maidana had to offer.

We don't seem to be calling Manny Pacquiao's chin weak just because he was KO'd last weekend.

Bludgeoning: Nonito Donaire (left) stopped Jorge Arce in the third round

Bludgeoning: Nonito Donaire (left) stopped Jorge Arce in the third round

3.50am: I am aware, of course, that Molina is unbeaten but he hasn't fought anyone with the calibre of Khan or his opponents. Khan doesn't need to have improved markedly to win this fight and I expect him to do so inside six rounds.

3.45am: Back to Khan, who we expect to make his ring walk at around 4.25am, and there is no doubt Molina has been put in front of him to get his confidence back and go into 2013 on a high.

A light puncher who is moving up a division… if Khan doesn't look good winning this then there is something wrong.

P.S. Andre Ward has just told Sky Sports that he wants a rematch with Carl Froch next year.

3.35am: In other news Stateside, Adrien Broner, considered by many as the heir to Floyd Mayweather Jnr's throne, has said he wants to face Scotland's Ricky Burns in a unification fight.

Broner is expected to be back in action on February 16 and Burns could be in the opposite corner in Atlantic City.

'I'm ready for Ricky Burns,' Broner said. 'He's a world-class fighter and I respect him for what he's done.

'I wanted to fight him for the WBO title, but he moved up. I hope he doesn't try and avoid me again.'

Down and out: Khan was sent crashing to the canvas by Danny Garcia earlier this year

Down and out: Khan was sent crashing to the canvas by Danny Garcia earlier this year

3.25am: Before I focus solely on Khan, there were some cracking fights in London last night as George Groves defended his Commonwealth super-middleweight title against teak tough Glen Johnson. Also in action was Billy Joe Saunders who beat Nick Blackwell for the British and Commonwealth middleweight titles.

You can read my reports from the Excel Arena here.

3.15am: As a result of suffering the defeat to Garcia, Khan split with trainer Freddie Roach and hooked up with Virgil Hunter who has guided the career of super middleweight world champion Andre Ward. We will see if the relationship has had time to develop over the last couple of months.

3.05am: It's fair to say it hasn't been the best of years for Bolton's Khan. After losing to Lamont Peterson last December, the American failed a drugs test in the build-up to the rematch. When that fight was shelved, Khan faced Danny Garcia but a huge left hand left the Brit in all sorts of trouble from which he couldn't recover.

3am: Good morning and welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of Amir Khan's make-or-break fight with Carlos Molina in Los Angeles.

Face off: Amir Khan (left) takes on Carlos Molina as he bids to get his career back on track

Face off: Amir Khan (left) takes on Carlos Molina as he bids to get his career back on track

Amir Khan aims for world title after beating Carlos Molina – Jeff Powell

JEFF POWELL: King Khan is back on track and showing the world his exciting natural talent… but he will have to wait for title shot

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UPDATED:

15:16 GMT, 16 December 2012

Next stop the world. So says Amir Khan after laying waste to a neighbourhood of east Los Angeles on Saturday night.

Maybe so, now that he has pulled back from the edge of the fiscal cliff which was threatening his future as much as the financial recession is jeopardising the American economy.

One false step here and he would have plunged into chaos.

Now he says: ‘I will be the champ again soon.’.

Scroll down for video

Flush: Amir Khan was on top from the first bell as Carlos Molina found himself overwhelmed

Flush: Amir Khan was on top from the first bell as Carlos Molina found himself overwhelmed

Amir Khan connects with Carlos Molina
KHAN IN 2013

Amir Khan’s three-fight calendar for 2013 is now shaping up like this:

March/April v Josesito Lopez to fine tune trainer Virgil Hunter’s game plan.

June/July v Danny Garcia in a world light-welterweight title re-match.

November/December v Lamont Peterson in re-match to become undisputed 10 stone champion, given Olympic standard drugs testing.

Maybe so since Danny Garcia, who knocked Khan off his perch with a left hook from hell earlier this year, appears willing to risk the lengthy odds against him landing that sucker punch again in a re-match.

Garcia and his mind-games father, Angel, were still in bullish mood after watching Khan beat Carlos Molina to pulp in the LA Sports Arena.

The Garcias had just seen the Bolton express land enough bolts of lightning to generate a year’s electricity for Molina’s impoverished home district not far from the LA Sports Arena but remained obdurately unimpressed.

‘We’ll fight Khan again and knock him out again,’ they said .’Even though we know that if he had beaten us he would never have given us a re-match.’

Price of success: Khan was reported to have fractured both hands during his victory over Molina

Price of success: Khan was reported to have fractured both hands during his victory over Molina

Through the gate: Molina did manage to land on Khan but the Bolton boxer withstood the punches

Through the gate: Molina did manage to land on Khan but the Bolton boxer withstood the punches

Carlos Molina sits in his corner after the ninth round

Amir Khan

Sore one: A cut opened around Molina's left eye early in the fight which caused him problems throughout

Maybe not. Khan has battened down his defences and acquired self-restraint in his first camp with new trainer Virgil Hunter.

But he has done so without
sacrificing the blistering hand speed or dynamic intensity which
hallmark one of the most exciting talents in the prize-ring today.

And yes, we are talking here about
Khan, at just turned 26, despite the flaws he is grafting to eradicate
from his game and the detractors who are so quick to pounce on his
inconsistencies.

There is no more exciting natural
talent in boxing right now, even though Khan will be required to prove
as much against opponents more formidable than prize-fighting’s version
of the Hobbit who came shuffling out of the opposite corner this
weekend.

Relentless: Khan used his jab effectively to keep Molina at bay and launch his combinations

Relentless: Khan used his jab effectively to keep Molina at bay and launch his combinations

Sore one: A cut opened beneath Molina's left eye early in the fight

Sore one: A cut opened beneath Molina's left eye early in the fight

They say punch-bags don’t hit back
but the diminutive Molina proved to be the exception, albeit not often
enough to prevent him losing all ten of the scheduled twelve rounds
before his corner men called a humane halt to the one-side proceedings.

This peon praise for Khan’s
renaissance after two successive but peculiar losses has to be qualified
by Molina’s limitations of size, ability, experience and hitting
power.

Yet they also say that you can do no
more than obliterate whoever is put in front of you. Khan did that in
overwhelming style and Britain should not lose the faith with its most
prominent and courageous ambassador for Anglo-Islam relations.

Molina had been hand-picked as a
stepping-stone towards Khan’s rehabilitation but he still had to be
beaten and the pot-shots he fired in retaliation had to be weathered as
evidence that the chin in a question is not fatally Achillean after all.

Over and out: The fight was stopped when Molina's corner felt he had suffered enough

Over and out: The fight was stopped when Molina's corner felt he had suffered enough

Referee Jack Reiss stops the fight between Amir Khan and Carlos Molina

The new Khan we had been promised
boxed with enough self-control and adherence to a less hazardous game
plan to suggest that our former world light-welterweight champion can
reclaim his place among the elite, and he had two fractured hands to show for his night's work.

Although the world championship he wants back may not come quite as soon as he is predicting.
Khan said; ‘I will fight Garcia again whenever and wherever he wants.’
The feeling is mutual, even if the money is doing much of the talking
when Danny boy says: 'I’m open to a second fight.’

But Garcia is scheduled to defend his
unified title against Zab Judah in February so the re-match with Khan
will have to wait at least until June or July. Khan will plug the gap
with another confidence building bout in March or April, before marrying
his fiance in May.

Suddenly the mists of doubt have cleared and the sun is shining on Khan again.

New era: Khan will hope to fight for a world title next year after his win in Los Angeles

New era: Khan will hope to fight for a world title next year after his win in Los Angeles

New era: Khan will hope to fight for a world title next year after his win

That warmth should help heal the
damage to the right hand, which he feared he had broken in hitting
Molina so often. The pain came as a reminder of his ex-trainer Freddie
Roach’s assertion that Khan has a recurrent problem there.

Not that Molina would have noticed.
So sharp and rapid were the multi-punch combinations with which Khan hit
him repeatedly that as early as the second round Molina’s face looked
as if a saucepan of boiling water had been thrown over it.

/12/16/article-0-16897E64000005DC-805_634x337.jpg” width=”634″ height=”337″ alt=”Looking to the future: Amir Khan and his trainer Virgil Hunter are looking at a world title shot in 2013″ class=”blkBorder” />

Looking to the future: Amir Khan and his trainer Virgil Hunter are looking at a world title shot in 2013

Khan had boxed with smarter attention
to trainer’s orders but for we who delight in watching him it was
reassuring to see that his warrior instincts will never be tamed
altogether.

He said: ‘I expect to become an even more complete boxer after more fights under Virgil.’

Hunter said: ‘He is on his way again to becoming a truly great boxer.’

Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer,
whose belief and investment in Khan had been redeemed, went further: ‘I
have always been convinced that Amir will be the best pound-for-pound
boxer in the world.’

First things first.

Our boy is back. Well, back on track if not all the way back to the top quite yet.

King Khan, as he is called, is
looking like a Prince of the ring again, which is no small achievement
for one who was sliding towards that precipice prior to this Saturday
night in the City of the Angels.

VIDEO: Amir Khan: 'trainer changed me…'

Play Video

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Manchester United Christmas party pictures – The Red Devils are Christmas angels

The Red Devils are Christmas angels as United stars toe party line

|

UPDATED:

00:35 GMT, 16 December 2012

Manchester United's players were on their best behaviour on Saturday night as they enjoyed a low-key Christmas party, under strict orders from manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Hours after beating Sunderland 3-1 to hold a six-point lead over title rivals Manchester City, Robin van Persie, Ryan Giggs and Ashley Young led the festive celebrations at Rio Ferdinand's Italian restaurant, Rosso, in Manchester.

But there was no sign of Wayne Rooney.

Manchester United Team mates arriving at Rio Ferdinands Italian restaurant, Rosso

Manchester United Team mates arriving at Rio Ferdinands Italian restaurant, Rosso

Christmas cheer: Ryan Giggs (left) and Robin van Persie (right)

Cracking time: Rio Ferdinand, Alexander Buttner and Van Persie

Cracking time: Rio Ferdinand, Alexander Buttner and Van Persie

The England striker had missed last year's get-together to watch boxer Amir Khan lose his title fight against Lamont Peterson at home on TV.

And Rooney may have decided to stay in again on Saturday night as Khan was due to fight Carlos Molina in Los Angeles.

For years United's players celebrated the festive season by visiting a number of pubs and bars in Manchester.

But Ferguson called time on the benders after his players partied with over 80 women during a 15-hour boozing marathon in 2007.

Manchester United Team mates arriving at Rio Ferdinands Italian restaurant, Rosso in Manchester City centre for their Christmas party

Manchester United Team mates arriving at Rio Ferdinands Italian restaurant, Rosso in Manchester City centre for their Christmas party

All booked: The United party could be sure to to get a table at Rio Ferdinand's restaurant in Manchester

Manchester United Team mates arriving at Rio Ferdinands Italian restaurant, Rosso

Manchester United Team mates arriving at Rio Ferdinands Italian restaurant, Rosso

Amir Khan v Carlos Molina live weigh-in

LIVE: Amir Khan v Carlos Molina – watch the weigh-in as it happens in Los Angeles

PUBLISHED:

16:50 GMT, 14 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

16:50 GMT, 14 December 2012

Amir Khan will hit the scales in Los Angeles tonight as the countdown to his make-or-break comeback fight against Carlos Molina draws closer.

And you can watch both fighters go head-to-head for the final time before their blockbuster bout on Sunday morning, as MailOnline brings you the weigh-in LIVE.

So join us HERE from 9.45pm to watch it unfold as it happens from across the pond…

Amir Khan vs. Carlos Molina will be live on Sky Sports 1 from 2am this Sunday morning.

Sports Personality, Premier League football, Test cricket and Amir Khan in Sunday TV sport marathon

The ultimate day for couch potatoes! Forget Christmas shopping and set aside Sunday for a 20-hour TV sports marathon

|

UPDATED:

13:48 GMT, 14 December 2012

The leather upholstery on the sofa has just about recovered from the European Championships and the dog has finally forgiven you for being ignored during the Olympics.

But now there's another television sports marathon to test the settee springs, beer supply, your bladder and the patience of friends, relatives, spouses and pets.

This Sunday, sports fans can settle down for a whopping 20 hours of live coverage – the ultimate chance to see if your couch potato stamina from London 2012 is still strong.

Who will it be A stellar cast of nominees from a glorious year of sport aim to succeed Mark Cavendish as BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Who will it be A stellar cast of nominees from a glorious year of sport aim to succeed Mark Cavendish as BBC Sports Personality of the Year

This is no day for delivering Christmas presents to the in-laws, trailing up and down Tesco looking for the right turkey crown or, heaven forbid, hitting the High Street for a Christmas shopping spree.

Sunday is all about an ample supply of drinks and snacks, entertaining company and some top quality sports action.

It all starts in the early hours with Amir Khan's bout with Carlos Molina over in Los Angeles as the man from Bolton aims to bounce back from back-to-back defeats in a 'make or break' fight.

Big fight: Amir Khan (left) fights Carlos Molina (right) in a junior welterweight bout in Los Angeles in the early hours of Sunday morning

Big fight: Amir Khan (left) fights Carlos Molina (right) in a junior welterweight bout in Los Angeles in the early hours of Sunday morning

Around the same time and the fourth day's play will be getting underway in Nagpur in the final cricket Test between England and India.

That should keep you entertained until the sun rises and, before you know it, you're in to wall-to-wall live football from right around the world.

In Japan, it's the final of the FIFA Club World Cup between Chelsea and Brazilian side Corinthians at 10.30am.

Top of the World: Fernando Torres and Chelsea will be aiming to win the FIFA Club World Cup final against Corinthians on Sunday morning

Top of the World: Fernando Torres and Chelsea will be aiming to win the FIFA Club World Cup final against Corinthians on Sunday morning

Naturally, there's a Super Sunday double header on Sky Sports, with Tottenham hosting Swansea at 1.30pm and West Brom playing West Ham at 4pm.

You can fill in the gaps with ESPN's double bill from Serie A – Fiorentina against Siena (11.30am) and Juventus against Atalanta (1.30pm).

After things come to an end at The Hawthorns, Sky are straight over to Spain with two Madrid vs. Barcelona clashes.

First up, from the Bernabeu, is Real Madrid against Espanyol (6pm) and then, at the Nou Camp, the meeting of two of Spanish football's hottest properties, Lionel Messi and Radamel Falcao, as Barcelona play Atletico (8pm).

Hot property: Fans will have the chance to compare Atletico's in-form Radamel Falcao (pictured) with Barcelona's record-breaker Lionel Messi

Hot property: Fans will have the chance to compare Atletico's in-form Radamel Falcao (pictured) with Barcelona's record-breaker Lionel Messi

And if you're flagging, then the chance to re-live all of the year's great sporting moments and vote for the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year should perk you up.

It promises to be the most hotly contested ever in light of Britain's wonderful achievements in the Olympics and Paralympics, not to mention Europe's Ryder Cup triumph, Andy Murray winning the US Open and Bradley Wiggins taking the Tour de France.

Or if you're not feeling nostalgic, catch a bit of Ibrahimovic as PSG take on Lyon on ESPN, or the third day of the PDC World Darts Championships on Sky Sports One.

Cap the day off, assuming you're not already snoozing, with Match of the Day 2 at 10.30pm. Those who cheated by taking power naps, or just have incredible stamina, may take it to a full 24 hours with a hat-trick of NFL action on Sky Sports Two and Channel Four.

WHERE TO CATCH ALL THE ACTION

Boxing – Amir Khan v Carlos Molina
Light Welterweight contest from Los Angeles
Coverage starts at 2am with Khan's fight about 5am.
Sky Sports One

Cricket – India v England
Fourth Test, Day Four from Nagpur
Coverage starts at 3.55am with start of play 4am
Sky Sports Two

Master batsman: Alistair Cook will be hoping to lead England to victory in the final Test with India and wrap up the series 3-1

Master batsman: Alistair Cook will be hoping to lead England to victory in the final Test with India and wrap up the series 3-1

Football – Corinthians v Chelsea
FIFA Club World Cup Final from Yokohama
Coverage starts at 10am, kick-off at 10.30am
BBC Two

Italian Football – Fiorentina v Siena and Juventus v Atalanta
Serie A
From 11.30am (kick-offs at 11.30am and 2pm respectively)
ESPN

Super Sunday – Tottenham Hotspur v Swansea City and West Bromwich v West Ham
FA Premier League
From 1pm (kick-offs at 1.30pm and 4pm respectively)

Spanish Football – Real Madrid v Espanyol and Barcelona v Atletico Madrid
La Liga
From 5.55pm (kick-offs at 6pm and 8pm respectively)
Sky Sports Three

Plenty to shout about: Zlatan Ibrahimovic should feature for PSG in the big French match of the weekend

Plenty to shout about: Zlatan Ibrahimovic should feature for PSG in the big French match of the weekend

French Football – Paris Saint-Germain v Lyon
Ligue 1
Coverage starts at 7.30pm, kick-off at 8pm
ESPN

Sports Personality of the Year 2012
7.30pm
BBC One

Darts – PDC World Championships
Day Three from Alexandra Palace in London
7pm
Sky Sports One

Hat-trick Adrian Lewis is going for a third successive World Darts title

Hat-trick Adrian Lewis is going for a third successive World Darts title

American Football – Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys v Pittsburgh Steelers
From 5.30pm
Sky Sports Two

New England Patriots v San Francisco 49ers
12.55am
Channel Four

Football – Match of the Day 2
10.30pm
BBC One