Why Khan has much to prove when he makes his homecoming
AMIR Khan used to claim that he was Britain's No 1 fighter - but he can't anymore.
That accolade rests firmly on the head of Carl Froch, who has emerged as Joe Calzaghe's true British heir in the super-middleweight division.
Just look at how they both responded to crushing defeats within a week of each other in December 2011.
Froch refused to quit, enticed unbeaten IBF champ Lucian Bute to his Nottingham stronghold when he handed him the biggest beating of his life to become a three-time world champ.
The Cobra defended his belt against Yusaf Mack in November and is looking forward to a unification showdown against WBA king and old rival Mikkel Kessler at the O2 on May 25.
It is shaping up to be the tastiest fight in Britain since Calzaghe beat Kessler at the Millennium Stadium in 2007 and tickets sold out within hours of going on sale.
Now compare that with Khan, who lost his last remaining title - his WBA crown - when he was stopped by Danny Garcia in July.
His comeback in December at the LA Sports Arena could hardly have been more low key as he beat Carlos Molina in a mismatch in front of a small, hardy band of his fans.
Now Khan has followed Froch in returning to Britain and will face Julio Diaz at Sheffield's Motorpoint Arena on April 27.
Despite Khan's camp and his US promoter Golden Boy trying to hype the fight up as the 'Return of the King', it's hard to escape the feeling that his career is at best marking time or at worst going backwards.
Khan is hanging around at light-welterweight in the hope of landing a rematch with Garcia in November, even though the American continues to show little interest in the fight.
It's a risky strategy and Golden Boy would like him to step up to 147lbs where they have more big-name opponents.
Instead he will fight another blown-up light-welterweight in Diaz and it's hard to see how this will land him a world title shot in his next fight.
It will also be interesting to see how many fans pay to see him fight on April 27 and his popularity has been on the wane during his exile from these shores.
He used to be a huge draw, selling out wherever he went around the country, which perhaps said a lot about Frank Warren's promoting skills.
His star is also on the wane and whereas 18 months ago he was seen as a possible heir to Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Junior, he has been overtaken by the likes of Timothy Bradley, Adrien Broner and Devon Alexander.
Khan will have a lot to prove on April 27 when he steps through the ropes and he must show everyone he is still a world-class fighter and big box office.