AMIR KHAN admits his career will end here in the Saudi desert if he fails to beat Billy Dib tonight.
It is less than three months since Khan was stopped in bizarre circumstances by Terence Crawford at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
But the Bolton star has decided to make a quick ring return in the less traditional surroundings of the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah.
He will take on Australia’s former featherweight champion Dib after his original opponent, Neeraj Goyat, was forced to withdraw as a result of injuries sustained in a horror car crash.
Many have dismissed the clash as a blatant cash grab.
But Khan insists he is taking the bout deadly seriously because his career is on the line.
He said: “If I lose this fight I have to retire. It is win or bust.
“With Terence Crawford it was different because he is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
“But at this level, definitely, if I lose it’s all over.
“I need to keep on winning now, I need to make sure I do everything right.”
Khan, the former unified light-welterweight champion, is still hell-bent on winning a world title in a second weight class before his career is over.
That is why he insisted on tonight’s fight being made at the 147lb welterweight limit.
Victory will almost certainly set up a second Saudi Arabia outing — and a November showdown with Manny Pacquiao is already being discussed.
But at this level, definitely, if I lose it’s all over.
Khan on his fight with Billy Dib
And 32-year-old Khan, now into his 14th year as a pro, is adamant he has plenty left in the tank for the “last chapter”.
He added: “I still feel young, I still feel like a young fighter, like I was in my 20s.
“Age is just a number and a lot of it is mental as well.
“I’m still pushing myself as hard as I always have.
“You do feel the toll on your body, the pressure and the aches and pains, but you know that’s going to come with hard work.
“It’s a short career so it’s the time where I have to make it. This is my last chapter.
“You might as well crack on with it, work hard now and then I will have a long time after boxing when I can relax.
“That’s why I give 100 per cent now, why I’m fighting and why I’m training now.”
Since winning the silver medal at the 2004 Olympics, Khan’s rollercoaster career, featuring three stunning knockout defeats, has never been dull.
And his last outing ended in unusual fashion when he was pulled out by his corner after a low blow from Crawford.
Khan added: “I think people only start appreciating you when you retire. That is when they think, ‘Wait a minute, this guy did everything’.
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“I’ve been put down, I’ve got back up and I’ve given everyone excitement — and that’s what I’ve always wanted to do.
“I’ve travelled all round the world fighting people in their own cities and countries. I’ve now come to Saudi Arabia.
“It’s up to me to make sure it doesn’t end here.”
Amir Khan v Billy Dib is exclusively live on Channel 5, with the undercard from 8pm on 5Spike.