BOLTON'S former world champion Amir Khan will return to the ring in April, after signing a three-fight promotional deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing.

The two-time former unified light-welterweight world champion and GB Olympic silver medallist's last match was in May 2016, when he stepped up to middleweight to face Mexican star Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, a match that ended with Khan being knocked out in round six.

Now, after putting his name to a contract with Hearn's promotion, it is confirmed Khan will step between the ropes at Liverpool's Echo Arena on April 21.

Khan, who caused a stir when he appeared on I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here, is now focused on fighting once again. His fight, against an as-yet unnamed opponent, will be screened live on Sky Sports, the first time the Boltonian will be on the Sky network since beating Devon Alexander in Las Vegas in December 2014. It will also be his first fight in England since chalking up a victory over Julio Diaz in Sheffield in April 2013.

“I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Matchroom,” said Khan. “This decision is not one I’ve taken lightly, as I’m at a hugely important time in my career but, having spoken to Eddie at length, it was clear he and I were on the same page in terms of what I want to be doing and what I still want to achieve.

"I’m determined to win another world championship and I’m confident I’ve got the right team behind me to help me do so.

“British boxing is in such a good place and I genuinely can’t wait to get back in that ring with the incredible home support behind me. I'm really excited for the next couple of years. I'm feeling fit and strong and I can't wait to get back in the ring.

“I’ve been out of the ring for too long, and I’m desperate to make up for lost time, starting in April.”

A proposed fight against Manny Pacquiao had been set for April 2017 did not happen, but the Filipino – along with Kell Brook, Keith Thurman and Errol Spence – is one of the top names Khan would like to take on in the near future.

Khan teaming up with Matchroom supremo Eddie Hearn, came as something of a surprise, given their recent history.

The deal ends one of the biggest feuds in British boxing and means that, by agreeing terms with Hearn Khan will work with a promoter he has regularly spoken of his dislike for.

Hearn has long annoyed the fighter by attempting to lure him into what would be a significant domestic fight with another of his fighters, and the 31-year-old's long-term rival, Kell Brook. He has also accused him of pricing himself out of what would prove a highly popular match-up.

When discussing the promoter in August from Las Vegas during the build-up to Floyd Mayweather's fight with Conor McGregor, Khan said: "The only way I would take that Brook fight is if he left Eddie Hearn. I just don't like Eddie Hearn.

"He's very disrespectful and he's never come clear with me. If he really wanted the fight between me and Kell Brook he should not be speaking to me, he should be speaking to [my adviser] Al Haymon. I always said that to him.

"That's one of the reasons why I keep away from Eddie Hearn and his shows, I just don't want to be in that drama."

However, his new promoter set out the plan to land huge fights at a press conference in London this afternoon.

 “I am delighted to welcome former unified world champion Amir Khan to the Matchroom Boxing and Sky Sports Boxing team,” he said. “Amir is one of the biggest names in the sport of boxing.

“The plan is to box in April and then again in August or September in preparation for a super-fight in winter 2018. The target is to provide him with the biggest fights possible. I'm excited to get started and looking forward to a huge night of boxing on April 21.”