Five defining fights of Amir Khan's career

Ahead of his bout with Luis Collazo in Las Vegas on Saturday night, Sports Mole takes a look at five matches that stand out in Amir Khan's career.

Saturday evening will see Amir Khan make his first appearance in the ring in over a year when he goes up against former WBA welterweight champion Luis Collazo at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The former Olympic silver medallist's last outing saw him get off the canvas to overcome Julio Diaz in Sheffield, but after a poor performance against the Mexican, the Bolton combatant will be keen for an improved display at the weekend.

Below, Sports Mole takes a look at five fights that have manoeuvred Khan into a position where a win over Collazo could potentially earn him a chance to face pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather.

1. Breidis Prescott

After turning professional following the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Khan blitzed his way through his opening 18 matches to pick up the Commonwealth and WBO intercontinental belts.

Next in line for Khan stood Breidis Prescott, a hard-punching Colombian who had won 17 of his 19 bouts by knockout, but the South American wasn't expected to make an impact against Khan, who was hoping to secure a world title shot in the near future.

However, it was a night of disaster for the Brit at the Manchester Evening News Arena. Prescott wasted little time in hurting Khan with a left hook in the opening 30 seconds, and despite getting to his feet, he was floored for a second time inside the first minute, forcing the referee to call off the bout.

2. Andreas Kotelnik

After defeating Oisin Fagan and Marco Antonio Barrera, Khan was handed his first opportunity to fight for a world title when he moved up a division to face Andreas Kotelnik for the WBA light-welterweight strap.

Kotelnik had previously beaten Marcos Maidana by split decision, but Khan soon displayed his superiority against the Ukrainian in Manchester and despite failing to stop his opponent, he eased to a unanimous points win to become world champion at the age of 22.

After quickly dispensing of Dmitry Salita, Khan came through his first significant test when stopping Paulie Malignaggi to set up a highly-anticipated showdown with Maidana, who was beginning to develop a reputation in the sport.

3. Marcos Maidana

WBA super lightweight champion Amir Khan of England (R) looks at Marcos Maidana of Argentina on December 11, 201© Getty Images

Maidana has recovered from his sole career defeat against Kotelnik with four successive victories, and while he went into the encounter with Khan as the underdog, the Brit was expected to face the toughest opponent of his career.

It appeared as though Khan was going to make light work of Maidana after flooring him with a huge body shot in the first round, and despite getting up, the Argentine was outclassed by Khan for the opening half of the fight.

However, Maidana rocked Khan with a huge right hand in the 10th round that had Khan out on his feet, and despite leading on the cards, the result was in the balance as the match entered the last stanza.

Maidana attacked his opponent at will, but after holding on until the end of the fight, Khan was awarded the unanimous verdict by the three judges.

4. Lamont Peterson

Khan followed the win over Maidana with successes of Paul McCloskey and Zab Judah before being ordered to face mandatory challenger Lamont Peterson in December 2011.

Like against Maidana, Khan had Peterson on the floor in the first round, but he failed to capitalise and the American gradually eased himself back into the fight through the middle rounds.

Khan had been deducted a point for pushing in the seventh, and a second misdemeanour saw him lose another in the final round, which eventually proved pivotal to the result. Khan won a 115-110 verdict on one card, but two others were scored 113-112 in favour of Peterson, who became world champion for the first time.

The result was surrounded with controversy, though. A rematch was ordered after a successful appeal from Khan, who had brought attention to an unauthorised official being at ringside, while months after the bout, Peterson failed a drugs test.

5. Danny Garcia

After losing out to Peterson, Khan was handed the chance to win the WBC belt against Danny Garcia, who had won the first 23 bouts of his professional career.

Danny Garcia from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, takes a right from Amir Khan, R,from Bolton, England on July 14, 2012© Getty Images

However, Khan was the favourite and he soon displayed his hand speed against the American to take the opening two rounds of the contest.

Garcia responded in the third by taking Khan off his feet with a looping left hand, and despite making it to the end of the round, the Brit was in danger of suffering back-to-back losses for the first time in his career.

Khan began the fourth still troubled by the earlier knockdown and despite attempting to fire back at Garcia, the American dropped Khan two more times, which gave the referee little option but to call off the fight, much to the dismay of Khan.

Amir Khan during a Press Conference at Mercure Sheffield St. Paul's Hotel & Spa on April 25, 2013
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