Amir Khan has been warned he must commit to a full-time future in the United States if he is to stand any chance of reclaiming the world title belts he has been without since losing to Danny Garcia last year.
Khan's first fight in Britain for two years in Sheffield on Saturday night almost lurched to disaster as he was floored in round four and hurt numerous times before wobbling to a 12-round win over Mexican Julio Diaz at the Motorpoint Arena.
For all its undoubted excitement it was a wholly unconvincing performance from Khan, who looked out on his feet at times in the 10th and 11th rounds before rallying for a deserved 115-113, 115-112, 114-113 unanimous verdict.
Khan is now targeting a rematch with Garcia, who kept his own side of the bargain by scoring a thrilling unanimous decision win of his own over veteran and former Khan foe Zab Judah in Brooklyn later on Saturday night.
But Khan's trainer Virgil Hunter has told the 26-year-old he must spend more time at his training base in San Francisco if he is serious about once again holding his own with his sport's elite fighters.
"It's going to take time. I know I started making the same old mistakes again but this is a fight I needed, a tough 12-round fight against a strong guy. I am going to improve as a fighter."
Khan's flawed performance did little to dampen the enthusiasm for his imminent return to the world title scene, with a possible rematch with Garcia already being mooted for December.
Khan added: "At times I get too brave for my own good but that's what makes me exciting and it is what people love. I'd love the Garcia fight again because I know the mistakes I made, and I won't make them again."
Tags: Amir Khan , Danny Garcia