Amir Khan signs promotional deal with Matchroom, Eddie Hearn

Khan: World titles motivation for Hearn deal (1:10)

Amir Khan explains why he's chosen to sign with Matchroom Boxing despite bad blood with Eddie Hearn in the past. (1:10)

LONDON -- Amir Khan has signed with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing in a three-fight deal, with his first bout coming on April 21, at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

It has been more than 18 months since Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) last boxed, with his last fight ending in a brutal sixth-round knockout defeat handed to him by Mexican middleweight Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in May 2016.

Since that bout in Las Vegas, Khan has undergone surgery to fix a long-standing problem in his right hand -- which has blighted the 2004 Olympic silver medalist's career -- seen family problems play out in the public eye and had negotiations over a fight with Manny Pacquiao break down.

However, after a successful stint last year on British reality-TV show "I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here," Khan is looking to put all that behind him.

Speaking at a press conference at London's Dorchester Hotel, Khan said: "I don't think anyone would have thought me and Eddie would be sat at the same table -- maybe up against each other, but never on the same team.

"We've decided to put everything that happened and put it behind us and move forward. Eddie, in my view, is the best promoter in the UK. I want to start fighting in the UK a lot more now, and it is all about being with the best team.

"It's time to put everything that's happened behind me and become a champion again," Hearn added. "This is a press conference I thought we would never see.

"I am delighted to have him back boxing in the UK. It's been nearly five years since he last boxed in this country.

"He was one of the biggest stars in [the] world boxing back when British boxing was booming. Last time he fought, British boxing was in a good place. But now we're kings of the world, and the king is back."

"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."

Khan's decision to sign with Hearn comes as a surprise, with the former two-weight world champion previously making public his dislike of Hearn, as he attempted to force through an all-British grudge match against Kell Brook, also promoted by Matchroom.

Speaking ahead of last year's showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and 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."

Khan has seemingly put that feud to bed, reportedly turning down a deal from ITV to sign with Hearn.