Amir Khan has said he will hand SaÃºl Ãlvarez, the No 1 middleweight in the world, "a boxing lesson" when the pair meet at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night before taking a broadside at Floyd Mayweather Jnr, who the Briton said was "bitter" after the former undefeated world champion drifted out of the limelight.
Amir Khan vs Saul Alvarez: All you need to know about the fight
Khan, who goes into Saturday’s contest as the underdog, is also drawing on the success of Leicester City Football Club who have just won Premier League having started the season as 5,000/1 to take the title.
A huge poster of Khan and Ãlvarez adorns the hotel on the Sin City strip once dominated by a 25-storey high cut out of Mayweather, who brought in billions of dollars to the Las Vegas economy as the sport’s top prize-fighter for almost nine years.
Amir Khan: Saul Alvarez showdown can be my defining fight
âAll the hard work and training has been done. I have a great team, and I am conditioned and ready to fight and represent my country of England," said Khan on his arrival at the MGM Grand Hotel. "Mentally, I have prepared by praying, being with my beautiful family, and the support from my fans. Even though Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday, we are going to see a lot of British flags come Saturday night."
"This is a huge fight, as Canelo [Ãlvarez] is a star in Mexico and America. I know Iâm here as the underdog, but Iâm ready to win and take this WBC belt back to my home in England. I wouldnât have taken this fight if I didnât think I could take it. I have trained for everything and worked on my speed and my power.
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"A win against Canelo would be one of the biggest wins of my career because he is a superstar, especially on this Cinco de Mayo weekend in front of everyone. I have trained and worked on my speed and my power."
Khan, 29, who is stepping up two weight divisions to fight Ãlvarez, added: "The fans will be very happy on Saturday night. I will be the new world champion. I think it will be difficult to knock Canelo out, but I know I can give him a boxing lesson.â
Ãlvarez, the WBC, Ring Magazine and middleweight world champion, responded: âThere is a difference between wanting and doing. On Saturday night, we will see who will give who a boxing lesson. I want to thank all of my fans for the support. I am very honored to be celebrating on Cinco de Mayo, and I hope to put on a great show on Saturday night. Iâm training hard for 12 rounds, Iâm ready to go all of those rounds, and if the knockout presents itselfâIâm ready to take it.â
Two-time world champion Khan, however, is undaunted at the prospect of facing the big Mexican puncher but instead is using the fairytale victory of the East Midlands side Leicester City as proof that the underdog can prevail.
"I’m seen as the underdog in this fight against Canelo but I feel this is the year of the underdog. What Leicester City have achieved is absolutely amazing. You would have been called crazy if you thought that Leicester would win the title at the start of the season – it’s such an inspiring story," said Khan.
"I’m definitely going to use that to help me because it shows that even though people say you have no chance what really matters is how you perform on the pitch, or in the boxing ring in my case.
"I’m ready to shock the world and beat Canelo even if some may have written off my chances. I know I’m ready for this fight and want to get in the ring right now," Khan said.
Fight week continues in Las Vegas on Thursday with a news conference at the MGM Grand (8.30pm UK time) before the pair meet on May 7 at the newly built T-Mobile Arena.
The former Olympian is looking forward to opening the new 20,000-seater stadium and is thrilled to headline in the boxing capital once again.
"It’s great to fight in Las Vegas again, every fighter dreams of topping the bill here because so many legendary fights have taken place in the city," said Khan.
"I have fought here a number of times against the likes of Zab Judah, Marcos Maidana and Devon Alexander but this is one fight I’m really excited about.
"To be the first boxing event at an arena which will become the new home of big-time boxing in Las Vegas feels special. I want to make the first fight here a remarkable one and a fight that will live long in the memory of all the fans," he added.
Khan said of Mayweather: "I think Mayweather is a little bit bitter that others are now getting the attention. I chased for the fight with him but that moment seems to have passed and it is not a fight on my mind any more."
Should Khan pull off an improbable coup and defeat Ãlvarez, however, and were Mayweather to come looking for a 50th fight with Khan in mind, there is little doubt that the British fighter would be interested. Prize fights are the currency which Khan craves.
Khan v Canelo is exclusively live on BoxNation on Saturday. Go to boxnation.com to subscribe.