Amir Khan is convinced he is still on Floyd Mayweather's radar as he prepares for his first fight in over a year against Luis Collazo in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Khan hopes an impressive victory over Collazo on his welterweight debut will leave Mayweather no option but to hand the Bolton fighter the next crack at his unbeaten record.
Mayweather tops the bill against former Khan foe Marcos Maidana, but Khan insisted: "The whole focus is going to be on Luis Collazo.
"I don't really want to get into all the hype about what's happening in the future but what I need to do is keep winning.
"I know I will be in Floyd's eye, even though it didn't happen last time. I'm just going to be focused on the fight because I'm up against a tough guy."
Khan was knocked down in the fourth round of his last fight against lightly-regarded Julio Diaz in Sheffield last April and was lucky to escape with a points win.
Khan then opted to play the waiting game in the hope of snaring a lucrative shot at Mayweather, allowing a prospective title tilt against Devon Alexander to fall by the wayside.
The lay-off has been far from ideal for Khan, who has previously admitted it was an error of judgement.
But as he approaches his bout against Collazo, a 33-year-old veteran who was narrowly outpointed by Ricky Hatton in Boston in 2006, Khan now believes his recent inactivity might act as a positive.
Khan, who like Collazo tipped the scales at 147lbs at Friday night's weigh-in, added: "I really believe I needed a long break off and sometimes taking that time off makes you mentally and physically stronger.
"Time will tell and on Saturday night we will see how much I've become a better fighter. It has never really affected me. I have always just focused on my next fight."
Tricky customer Collazo fought on after his loss to Hatton but a 2011 defeat to little-known Freddy Hernandez looked to have ended his career at the top level.
However, a subsequent run of four straight wins - culminating in his superb second-round knock-out win over Victor Ortiz in Brooklyn in January - catapulted him back into the spotlight.
Collazo insists he could not care less about the fact that so many in the sport see him as simply a stepping-stone Khan must take in order to land a shot at Mayweather.
"It's okay - I've been the underdog all my life," said Collazo. "I've been in his position before and I'm more than happy to welcome him up to welterweight.
"Back in 2006 I was on top of the world and I thought it was my time, but God said it wasn't.
"Last year I was heading nowhere - I didn't know where my career was going. And a year later, I'm here, I'm blessed, and I'm very excited for May 3."