New York, they say, is the city that never sleeps, and that was never more than six years ago in the spring night when Amir Khan brought his bride.
The Waldorf Astoria – that royal residence for presidents and kings, Churchill and Queen Elizabeth, Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, Sinatra and Ali, Cole Porter and Grace Kelly, Eisenhower and Rainier, Elizabeth Taylor and Cary Grant – was the dream of the beautiful Faryal Makhdoom wedding location since her childhood in New York.
With a tender 21 her fantasy came true on March 31, 2013.
Amir Khan has admitted a win over Terence Crawford would top his wedding anniversary
This largest hotel was intoxicated with scents and herbs, dizzyly decorated with the vibrant side of the subcontinent.
For Amir and Faryal it didn't have to be a huge step in the imagination to see themselves floating in a married life as if it were lying on a magic carpet.
Instead of western lizards, hundreds of guests were greeted by stalls moaning under the weight of food from the seven continents of the world. The eight-course banquet that followed was a celebration of mouth-watering flavors.
Exotic music lured us to the dance floor, amid the swirling saris and lush costumes reminiscent of the old colonial era of Pakistan.
Khan fights Crawford as Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday
Khan married Faryal Makhdoom in New York six years ago and is now returning to fight
Not a drop of spirits crossed our lips, but time drifted through the seductive mood until breakfast was served when the first fingers of dawn stole among the skyscrapers of Manhattan.
An evening in New York that is never surpassed by the happy couple?
Well, maybe not until this week when Amir returns in search of his Holy Grail.
This Saturday evening, in the equally legendary Madison Square Garden, Khan goes in search of the victory that would elevate him to the pantheon of boxing greats. He rhetorically asks himself the question: "Would Terence Crawford in New York at the top of our wedding day succeed here?
The answer: & # 39; My wife will kill this for me, but I have to say yes. Definitive. & # 39; The explanation lies in the scope of the opportunity. Crawford is generally classified as the second best pound-for-pound hunter in the world today.
If Khan beats him, he will not only become a triple world champion by claiming the WBO welterweight title, but also supplanting the undefeated American in that ranking.
& # 39; This fight means so much to my legacy & # 39 ;, says the man from Bolton who started laying that foundation as a 17-year-old when he brought Olympic silver to Britain.
The Bolton-born boxer returns to the city where he married in March 2013
& # 39; This will be a fight for years to come, & # 39; Khan adds. & # 39; I risk everything and I want this so badly. & # 39; Crawford is the favorite in heavy betting, but Khan believes that the experience he has gained during so many major battles in America earlier in his career will allow him to go beyond those odds.
& # 39; I am now an American veteran, he says. & # 39; I never thought I'd have all these fights here. I also did not expect that I would box this for so long. But it went much better than I ever thought. And now I am looking for the biggest victory in my life. & # 39; At 33, Khan has knocked the way back against hitting overcome by Canelo Alvarez when he made his injudicious two-division climb to middleweight.
Although, from his indifferent indifference to smaller lights Phil Lo Greco and Samuel Vargas, he is honest enough to admit: “It was hard to motivate myself against men you'd have to beat by just turning on.
& # 39; I really hope Crawford and his team now think I'm just old Amir Khan. Maybe that's why they gave me this fight. If so, they make a big mistake. I brought the fate for this into training. He also didn't look so good in his last fight, but I'm a sharper puncher with more power. & # 39;
A victory in America would bring Khan into the pantheon of the great boxers
And the vulnerability of his chin to knockout punchers says: “I have now learned how to box smartly. Do not be swallowed. Crawford is a left-handed man, but I have fought several in my 37 fights and never had a problem. He is also sometimes a switch hitter, but I know how to deal with the Orthodox. & # 39;
Ms. Khan understands that this fight is so important that her husband has pushed an even more enriching domestic blockbuster against Kell Brook to the back of the shelf.
She and their older daughter Lamaisah traveled here with him from his training camp in California. The parents of Faryal from New York bring the baby Alayna from London. He says: & # 39; It is another huge motivation for me that they share in the greatest moment of my career. & # 39; The imposing doors of the Waldorf Astoria are currently closed, while the hotel is undergoing major renovations. So the Khan family has to stay a little less opulent somewhere.
Not that it matters. The iconic Madison Square Garden is open to creating more ring history.
Amir Khan challenges Terence Crawford for WBO world welterweight title live at BT Sport Box Office this Saturday night.