Amir Khan has thanked Julio Diaz for showing the "bottle" to fight him in the UK this weekend.
The two former world champions will meet in a 143lbs 'catch-weight' bout - a mark set between super lightweight and welterweight - at Sheffield's Motorpoint Arena on Saturday.
It will be Khan's first fight in Britain for two years and the 26-year-old is confident it will be a stepping stone back to the top.
Khan lost his world titles in a controversial defeat by Lamont Peterson by a split decision in December 2011 and was then beaten by Danny Garcia in a WBC super-lightweight title fight last year.
California-based Mexican Diaz has previously held a world lightweight title.
Khan said: "I need to thank Julio Diaz for coming all the way from America.
"Not many fighters do what I do - I go to their hometown or home country and fight them there, with my world titles.
"But no-one likes to come to me and fight in my home country, so it is great Julio Diaz has shown bottle and come over.
"Julio is coming down from 147 to fight me, that is why we have made the fight at 143.
"We are going to be ready and strong at this weight. It is the first time I have been heavier than 140 for a long time but I think it will suit me.
"This fight will straight away elevate us back into world-title fights.
"But I am not thinking any further than this fight yet. I just want to get through this one and then we will know exactly where we are."
The bout is the headline attraction of a packed card which also features the first professional fights of Khan's brother Haroon and Anthony Ogogo, as well as heavyweight Audley Harrison.
Khan said: "I think it is going to be brilliant.
"Sheffield is a well-known boxing place with a big boxing history.
"It is going to be great for me to put on a big performance in front of my home fans.
"It is very exciting. I have not fought here for two years because most of my fights are in America.
"I miss fighting in the UK. My last fight was against Paul McCloskey in Manchester so I needed to come back and put on a fight in front of my home fans."
Diaz, who along with Khan spoke to reporters at a media workout in Sheffield, made clear he has not flown over to provide Khan with a career lift.
The 33-year-old has won 40 of his 48 fights and knocked out Henry Aurad and Hector Sanchez last year before drawing with Shawn Porter.
Diaz said: "Everything is perfect, right on point. I feel good.
"I have to perform and look good and try to put him out.
"This is the key to open the doors. I beat Amir Khan, I get another world-title shot. He is on my way.
"I just do my job, put him out, go back home.
"We know what we need to do. He is a great fighter but he makes a lot of mistakes and we are looking to capitalise on any of them."Tags: Amir Khan , Julio Diaz , Khan-Diaz , Khan vs. Diaz