Amir Khan is convinced he is going to have to "clearly" defeat Saul Alvarez if he is to stand a chance of earning a decision from the judges in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The 29-year-old has stepped up two weight divisions to challenge WBC middleweight champion Alvarez at a catchweight of 155lbs at the new T-Mobile Arena - and he remains the underdog by quite some margin.
Alvarez's advantages in size and power already mean Khan has much to overcome, and he is fighting Mexico's most popular fighter on the weekend of Mexican holiday 'Cinco de Mayo.' It should not be overlooked that the champion is a massive attraction in Las Vegas.
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Alvarez' Vegas record
It was in Las Vegas that Alvarez was inexplicably awarded a score of 114-114 from judge CJ Ross when he dropped a majority decision to Floyd Mayweather on a night he was clearly outboxed, and also where he was awarded a split decision win over Erislandy Lara when many observers believe he lost.
If there was an argument for Alvarez defeating Lara it came in his superior aggression and Khan recognises he cannot risk being as indecisive as the Cuban.
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The Briton said: "I really have to win it quite clearly. It's not about winning it closely.
"I want to win it and I don't want people thinking 'Oh, it was a close fight, it could have gone either way'.
"I want to win it clearly, winning it with a couple of rounds at least. I'm also the 'away' fighter."
Much of Khan's reputation has been built on an entertaining, speed-based, high-intensity style, and the accepted wisdom is that his greatest chance of victory comes in focusing on his speed.
Where he has in the past often been guilty of rushing, however, Khan insists his next bout will at times more reflect "a game of chess" - and is also wary that as the smaller fighter, needing to evade Alvarez's power, he will have to preserve his energy to last the full 12 rounds.
"It's going to be like a game of chess at times," he said. "He's going to be putting a lot of pressure on me, pushing me back, but we just have to be smart in there.
"There are a few things we're going to be doing differently in this fight. The feinting, the movement - but movement's not in the sense where we're going to be running around the ring, it's about making the right moves.
"I don't want to be burning too much energy. Will I have that much energy by running away all 12 rounds? I'm going to have to stand there at times and trade with him."
Can Amir Khan win in Vegas? Have your say in the comments.
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