Comeback on the cards
Big test as Khan takes on unbeaten Mexican
By Jamie Casey - Twitter: @skyjamiecasey. Last Updated: December 14, 2012 3:33pm
Amir Khan: Expected to offer a much tighter defence in his first fight under new trainer Virgil Hunter
Amir Khan is under enormous pressure to get his career back on track as the overwhelming favourite against Carlos Molina in Los Angeles this weekend, but with the way Sky Bet punters are placing their wagers it'd be easy to think otherwise.
The Mexican-American is the 11/2 second favourite but has hundreds of backers ahead of the bout, with very few punters trusting our odds of 1/10 that Khan will return to winning ways after back-to-back defeats at the hands of Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia.
Despite Peterson later failing a drugs test, which saw Khan handed back his WBA title, the Bolton Brit's credibility has taken as big a beating as his chin of late, but the 26-year-old should offer a much stricter defence in his first fight under the guidance of new trainer Virgil Hunter.
With Khan having parted ways with previous trainer Freddie Roach, whose own integrity is now under scrutiny following successive defeats for Manny Pacquiao as well as Khan, he is expected to return to the ring with the type of guard and discipline that could see this fight last until the latter rounds.
Sky Bet go 4/5 that the fight will see over seven rounds, a banker in the eyes of many but for the odds-on price it could prove more lucrative to look at other markets. Incidentally, we've received an unusually high number of stakes on the draw at 33/1, although such an outcome is a rare occurrence.
Certainty, anything other than a convincing win against undefeated Molina and Khan's reputation will hit the canvas quicker than his body did when Breidis Prescott made light work of him in 2008, and, with his opponent stepping up from lightweight to light-welterweight, much is expected of the man nicknamed 'King Khan'.
However, a convincing victory doesn't always necessitate a knock-out, and, with Khan admitting on Sky Sports' Behind the Ropes episode this week that he plans to ditch his desire to please the American crowd with attacking shows, expect a cautious but controlled, dominant display.
Molina is not known for his hard hitting even at lightweight, and could well be facing his first professional defeat on his light-welterweight debut, but only if Khan sticks to his strategy - an obligation he has thrown out of the window early doors on the big occasion far too often.
However, Molina, who is four inches shorter than Khan, has boasted of his typical Mexican routes in the build-up and he'll almost inevitably carry a wealth of heart - he won't be beaten easily. That's why, at 10/3, Khan to win on points after 12 rounds is the standout bet ahead of the bout.