Amir Khan needs a win this Saturday over Carlos Molina or he can kiss his place among boxing's elite goodbye.
That's not to say that if he loses he won't get big fights.
He'll just be thought of more like a Victor Ortiz and less like an Andre Ward, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Ortiz is an all-action fighter who's never in a boring fight, much like Khan; but he is no longer considered an elite fighter after his loss to Jose "Josesito" Lopez.
Ward, like Floyd Mayweather Jr., is one of the best in the sport, although he isn't always fun to watch.
If Khan wants to once again be considered one of the elite in boxing, and not just an exciting fighter, he needs an impressive win. He can't go in there in and just beat Carlos Molina—a lightweight—he needs to dominate him.
To dominate Molina he will need to stay focused on the task at hand and not let himself get into a slugfest if he gets tagged with a shot like he has in the past.
With the fight being in L.A., Molina's home town, the crowd will be a huge factor, and Khan could easily get caught up in the moment. If he sticks to the game plan it should be an easy night for the former champion.
The cocky Brit claims that under the tutelage of Virgil Hunter he has corrected his recent mistakes and we will see a new Amir Khan come Saturday night.
"We usually go in there and it's like there's no defense and jumping into a war when we don't need to have a war and the game plan going out the window and me getting over confident," Khan said of his career up to this point.
Khan vows that he's now a different fighter and we won't see the same old mistakes Saturday night. Mistakes like not holding when he's hurt and trading shots when he doesn't need too.
"We've been working on a lot of new defenses, which I think will help me in this fight," Khan said. "I should use my skills instead of jumping in there and getting into wars."
Skills are what made Khan a silver medalist at just 17, skills are what won the WBA and IBF super lightweight titles.
His willingness to get into wars is what has made him one of the most exciting fighters in the sport.
Being an exciting action fighter is great for the fans and the television networks, but it can cut an already short career even shorter, and if Khan wants to be in this for the long haul he will need to remember that.
If Khan is to get back to where he was, he will need to be more like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and less like Manny Pacquiao—even if that's not what the fans like.
Michael Walters is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!