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Amir Khan in do or die fight against Carlos Molina

By John Hill: On 15th December, Amir Khan returns to the ring to face Carlos Molina in what will be the most important fight of the Bolton boxers career. Coming off the back of losses in his last 2 fights would be hard enough, but the manner of his defeat against Danny Garcia in July has left many asking if the 25 year old is capable of mixing it at the highest level.

Khan was the hottest prospect in British boxing until a first round KO by little known Columbian Breidis Prescott in 2008, exposed how fragile his chin was. At that time things looked bleak for Khan with most boxing commentators asking serious questions about his future. Despite this, Freddie Roach saw something in Khan that he liked and took him under his wing.

Amir left his home and family behind to train with Roach at the Wild Card Gym in LA. With Roach’s guidance and a step up to lightweight, Khan got his career back on track. A victory over Andreas Kotelnik in 2009 saw him crowned WBA champion and his decision to work with Roach and the move to America looked inspired.

A brutal 12 round contest against Marcos Maidana tested Khan and showed he could be taken to the brink and still come through. He was caught in the 11th round and looked finished but somehow found the strength to hear the bell at the end of the 12th and take a deserved points win.

It would be a controversial fight against Lamont Peterson in 2011 when things started to unravel. Some dubious points deductions and home town advantage saw Peterson awarded the fight by the judges. In the days following it was a failed drugs test from Peterson which made the headlines and took the focus away from Khans lacklustre performance. As a result, the WBA stripped the American of the belt and Khan would go on to fight Danny Garcia as the WBA champion.

A confident Khan went in to the that fight as favourite against the unbeaten American, but after taking a shot flush on the chin the fight was all but over. He hit the canvas for the 3rd time early in the 4th round and the fight was stopped with Khan struggling to stay on his feet.

In a bid to revive his career Khan has left the Wild Card gym and teamed up with Andre Wards trainer Virgil Hunter. Could the move be the springboard that Khan needs to get back to his best, or is it just delaying the inevitable? Whatever the case a defeat on December 15th would surely lower his stock sufficiently for the boxing world to lose interest and prevent Khan from getting another shot at a world title any time soon. His opponent is unbeaten and unless Khan is fully focused and prepared, it could be another uncomfortable night for the former champion.

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