After nearly two years fighting away from England, the “King” is back. On Saturday, April 27 at Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, British superstar Amir “King” Khan returns to England to face former World Champion Julio “The Kidd” Diaz.
Plus, 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Anthony Ogogo makes his long-awaited professional debut in a four round middleweight bout against an opponent to be determined.
“April 27th is going to be a special night,” said Khan. “It’s been two years since I last fought in the United Kingdom and I can’t wait to get in the ring in front of my fans. Julio Diaz is a former World Champion and a very dangerous opponent who is coming off of an impressive performance in his last fight. I know he will be coming with guns blazing and I’m ready for whatever he has to throw at me. With my speed and boxing skills, and his power and experience, it makes for a really exciting matchup. He may have other ideas but I’m adamant that my return to the British shores is going to be a very successful one.”
“I’m not going to England for the fight to go to the scorecards. I’m fighting for the knockout,” said Diaz. “I know the knockout is the only thing that will get me the win, so I’m training extra hard already in order to get a victory on Khan’s home turf. I’m a heavy hitter and he can’t take a punch, so to me, that is the perfect combination.”
“The opportunity to turn pro on such a big fight card in England is a dream come true,” said Ogogo. “I want to become a superstar and this is the first step. I know I have to win in an impressive fashion in my first fight as a pro and I plan on doing just that.”
“We’re excited to return to England and bring the loyal British fans the return of Amir Khan on April 27,” said Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions. “Amir is closing in on a shot at regaining his world champion status and I know he’s going to use the energy from the crowd in Sheffield to motivate him. Standing in his way will be a dangerous opponent in Julio Diaz who is on a hot streak of his own that he expects to keep intact in England.”
“April 27 is going to be a great night for boxing in the U.K. and a great night for Golden Boy Promotions,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Between Amir Khan returning home where he is immensely popular and the pro debut of our newest prospect Anthony Ogogo, this is a great way to jump start an amazing run of fights that Golden Boy Promotions will be a part of in England for many years to come.”
“It was well known that Amir wanted to have his next fight back home in Britain for his loyal fan base,” said Asif Vali of Khan Promotions. “It has taken a bit of time to get to this point, but we’re delighted to announce Julio Diaz as his next opponent. He upset the odds to score a draw in his last fight against a highly touted prospect in Shawn Porter and we know he will be looking to upset the odds and score a win come April 27. Both fighters have been world champions and Amir is determined to reach that summit once again. It will be a night not to miss in Sheffield as we witness ‘the return of the King’.”
“Motorpoint Arena Sheffield is delighted to be playing host to Amir Khan’s return to Britain,” said Joe Waldron, Deputy General Manager of the Motorpoint Arena Sheffield. “We host some of the biggest stars in the world in this region and it’s a privilege to have secured another in Amir with his first fight back on British soil in two years. This event will be a special occasion for all boxing fans and the Sheffield public with yet another unforgettable night expected at the Motorpoint Arena.”
2010 Commonwealth Games Bronze medalist, Haroon Khan, will also make his professional debut. “I’m extremely excited about making my debut. Ever since I was a kid I’ve dreamed about this moment and I can’t wait to take the first step in my professional career on April 27th.”
“Return of the King”: Khan vs. Diaz is a 12 round 143 pound catch-weight bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Khan Promotions and sponsored by JD Sport and Maxi Muscle.
Tickets, priced at £300, £200, £125, £75 and £50 plus applicable taxes and service charges go on sale on Thursday, February 28 at 9:00 a.m. BT and may be purchased at the Motorpoint Arena box office, by calling (+44) 0114 256 5656, online at www.motorpointarenasheffield.