AMIR Khan had just one fight in 2016 – a defeat to Saul Alvarez – but still believes there are positives to take into what he hopes will be a big 12 months ahead.

Bolton ’s former world champion says successful surgery on a longstanding hand injury after that Alvarez loss has given him a new lease of life.

And with a blockbuster showdown with Sheffield’s Kell Brook a real possibility next summer, Khan is predicting big things again.

Speaking exclusively to The Bolton News, he said: “I want to be back in the ring around April time and then again at the end of the year.

“I had the hand operation and it feels brand new.

“I can’t wait to get in the ring at 147 again, which is my weight division.

“I think these next few years are going to be my best.

“I have been on a downer since the last fight with the injury and all that.

“Now I cannot wait to get back in training with my trainer Virgil (Hunter).

“I need to make sure the fight is right for me.

“I am one of those guys who will go in with anyone and it may be my downfall sometimes.

“I want Garcia but won’t be able to do that in April as he is down to have his unification fight in March.

“If he doesn’t then I will jump at that.

“I am going back down to 147 and still have that position as number one mandatory.

“But I think that (Kell Brook) will be the next big fight for me.

“It would be massive – a super fight.”

Khan will certainly be happy to start afresh in the new year after his knockout loss to Alvarez, having opted to move up to middleweight.

It did not work out but Khan says he does not regret the decision.

He said: “I don’t care about criticism about fighting Canelo.

“I did it for myself – I wanted to prove to myself I could win that fight.

“Obviously I didn’t but any doubters don’t get to me.

“I know I can win a world title at 147 and people will forget about the defeats.

“Even though I only had the one fight and it was a loss, there are still some good things that have come from the year.

“It has been tough and not been easy mentally to get over the hand injury.

“It did scare me a bit because my hand was hurting a lot. It was playing on my mind in every fight.

“It used to hurt me and I knew it needed fixing but I was too scared to get it fixed because, God forbid, it doesn’t go right and then my career is ruined really.

“It was a big risk to take but not being able to punch fully without it hurting was weighing on my mind.

“It is done now and I’ m happy and feeling good as well.

“I have still got a couple of fights left in me and cannot wait to be back.”

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