Amir Khan must be wary of 'dangerous' Julio Diaz, says Richie Woodhall

Last Updated: 26/04/13 8:33am

Amir Khan should relish his homecoming fight on Saturday - providing he doesn't underestimate Julio Diaz, says Richie Woodhall.

"Sometimes Khan lacks a little bit of concentration so if he can keep his concentration levels nice and high and box at distance, he should be ok."

Richie Woodhall

Khan, the WBA and IBF light-welterweight champion from 2009-12, is completing his preparations for Saturday's clash in Sheffield and feels he is back on track after beating Carlos Molina in December.

However, Woodhall told Ringside that the Briton shouldn't take anything for granted against Mexican Diaz and must keep his concentration levels up at all times.

"Khan looks in really good shape," said Woodhall, world champion from 1998-99. "He's in against a dangerous puncher - Diaz has 29 knockouts in 40 victories - so Khan has got to watch what he's doing.

"Diaz is probably past his sell-by date but he's still dangerous. If Khan keeps his distance and boxes mid to long range, there aren't many people who can stick with him.

"It's just a question of sticking with that technique right the way through 12 rounds. That's the problem.

"Sometimes he lacks a little bit of concentration so if he can keep his concentration levels nice and high and box at distance, he should be okay. But he's in against a puncher."


Khan suffered a controversial defeat to Lamont Peterson in December 2011 and again came unstuck in a WBC super-lightweight title fight against Danny Garcia the following July.

However, the Briton, now under the tutelage of Virgil Hunter, believes he has what it takes to overcome California-based Diaz in front of his home fans.

"It's always nice to come back home and fight in front of your home fans and put on a performance," he said.

"I'm looking forward to this fight in Sheffield. It's going to be a good night for me. I'm fighting against a former two-time world champion, who I'm not taking lightly.

"I'm sure that he's come over all the way from America to win, to cause an upset. But I'm back on winning ways and I'm sure that I'm going to continue."

Diaz, two-time World Champion 2004-2007, has been knocked out five times in 48 fights, but won bouts against Henry Aurad and Hector Sanchez in 2012 before picking up a draw with Shawn Porter in December.

The 33-year-old told Ringside he is determined to ensure his curve remains upward.

"I took a downfall and it took a toll on me - it's rough being at the bottom," he admitted. "But now I have a second time and this is how I redeem myself. I have a second chance to be a world champion."