Amir Khan admitted he is aware of the risks posed by Terence Crawford in New York on Saturday
There have been unmistakable valedictory overtones in the final run-up to Amir Khans fight with the dangerous Terence Crawford on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
The twice former world light-welterweight champion is plainly closer to the end than the start of his fighting days, nearly a decade and a half since he vaulted to stardom with a silver medal for Great Britain at the Athens Olympics aged 17. The professional career that followed has not always complied with the best-laid plans, even if the story has never wanted for drama. Khan mixed it up with the best in the business from an early age, never backing down from the biggest challenges and winning more big fights than he has lost.
But a ledger dotted with signature victories over Marcos Maidana, Devon Alexander, Zab Judah and Paulie Malignaggi has been tempered by flat notes at the most inopportune times: whether the 54-second destruction at the hands of Breidis Prescott, the tactically inept knockout defeat by Danny Garcia or even the momentum-killing touch-and-go points win over Chris Algieri in a fight designed to make him look good.
Now Khan (33-4, 20 KOs), older and more reflective at 32, is taking aim at a title in a second weight division where he faces the welterweight world title-holder Crawford in midtown Manhattan perhaps the tallest task yet in a career with no shortage of them.
Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs), the maddeningly adaptable Nebraskan who unified all four major title belts at light-welterweight before moving up to capture the WBOs version of the title at 147lb with a stoppage of Jeff Horn last June, is widely regarded as one of the best fighters in the world regardless of weight, which surely accounts for the lofty 8-1 price against the Bolton fighter.
But Khan hardly looked like a man heading to the gallows at Wednesdays final press conference, basking in the atmosphere of his 10th world title fight with the single-minded confidence and sense of purpose that saw him through his first against Andreas Kotelnik nearly a decade ago.
Its amazing for me to be in this position once again, Khan said. That in itself is a great motivation for me to know that Im fighting the best out there once again. It makes me train harder, work harder. Im focused for this fight and I know that I cant make any mistakes because I could be in trouble. Ive been watching all the videos of [Crawfords] fights.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us