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Amir Khan plans three fights for 2013, starting with Julio Diaz

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Amir Khan says he's focusing on defense with trainer Virgil Hunter, and looking to fight three times this year, starting April 27 with Julio Diaz in Sheffield, England.

Clive Brunskill

Amir Khan wants to get busy in 2013, targeting three fights before the year is out, starting with Julio Diaz on April 27, in Sheffield, England.

Khan (27-3, 19 KO) hasn't fought since December, when he got a get-well win over lightweight Carlos Molina, his first fight on Showtime. That was also his first outing with new trainer Virgil Hunter, hired specifically to make Khan a better defensive fighter, and Khan says he's learning a lot working with the guru:

"Virgil and I are working on the defensive side of the sport, which is a habit we'll be sticking to. In a fight I'll be fully aware of what to do and, more importantly, what not to do. I won't be making the same old mistakes and will continue to improve. ... Diaz is a tough guy. He's fought all the way up to 147 pounds and earned a draw against Shawn Porter who I think is a great fighter and a future world champion."

Most see this as another tune-up fight for Khan, at a 143-pound catchweight. There has been talk of Golden Boy doing a "tournament" at 140, with Garcia-Judah and Peterson-Matthysse coming soon, those winners facing, and then the ultimate winner getting Khan, even though two of those guys have already beaten Khan, but Schaefer has talked to the press about 10 or so tournaments the last few years, and none of them have ever actually happened. Remember the welterweight tournament he brought up in 2011? Remember Lightweight Lightning?

Anyway, Khan will be the heavy favorite against Diaz, and rightly so, but Diaz can crack a little bit, and we know Khan does not have the best resistance. His defensive improvements still have to be proven, too; not that Diaz is some monster or anything, but Molina was small, had little power, and was sent in there to lose and not be any real danger to Khan. Amir still has to show that he's actually changing as a fighter.