By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
AMIR Khan says the pressure is well and truly on as he faces a make-or-break fight with Carlos Molina next week.
Bolton star Khan, who has lost his last two fights, knows that victory in Los Angeles on December 15, is essential as he bids to show that he is still capable of mixing it with the world’s best.
The 25-year-old is hoping to return to winning ways after a points defeat by Lamont Peterson last December and a fourth-round KO by Danny Garcia in July.
He sacked legendary trainer Freddie Roach after the Garcia reversal and is now under Virgil Hunter – his sixth cornerman in what will be his 30th fight.
The double former light- welterweight world champion said: “It’s hard to come back after every fight you lose and the pressure is on.
“But I can cope. I like to be put under pressure sometimes. It has made me work harder and train harder. Now I know that once I get past this fight I can get on with my career and go to bigger and better fights in the future.”
The prospect of big American dates will vanish if Khan fails to deliver the goods, but he believes he is capable of coping with the pressure.
He said: “I am enjoying it more than anything because I don’t worry about the pressure, even though it is going to be tough.
“But I have done the hard work and know I am going to win this one – I have to win it.
“I can’t afford to lose and I have to win this fight. It is a big fight for me and the team, against an unbeaten fighter.
“If I want to be the best in the world again and be world champion, I have to get through this fight. But I have never thought about losing it.
“I have never trained as hard. If I hadn’t, then maybe I would be thinking ‘What if’ – but that is not the case.”
But he knows that 27-year-old Molina, who is unbeaten in his 18 professional contests, will not be a pushover.
Khan is a 14-1-on favourite to get back to winning ways, with Californian Molina a heavy 7-1 underdog.
“Molina has never tasted defeat before and he’s fighting in his home state with lots of his fans,” added Khan. “It will be a good fight. I will fight anyone anywhere.”
KHAN v Molina is live on Sky Sports 1 HD and on mobile and tablet devices via Sky Go from 2am, on Sunday, December 16.