Amir Khan Announces His Retirement
It always seemed inevitable, despite the whispers to the contrary, that Amir Khan would follow Kell Brook and announce his retirement from boxing.
‘It’s time to hang up my gloves. I feel blessed to have had such an amazing career that has spanned over 27 years. I want to say a heartfelt thanks and to the incredible teams I have worked with and to my family, friends and fans for the love and support they have shown me.’
The announcement today is hardly a surprise, less so when Kell Brook announced his boxing farewell last week killing off any lingering hopes that Khan could seek redemption against his heated rival. This observer did have concerns that Khan would be fed to Conor Benn as the time-honoured sacrificial lamb, a fight nobody needed to see. When Khan entered the ring immediately after Benn dispatched his latest victim last month in Manchester, I feared the worst. But thankfully, today’s announcement spared us that at least.
The retirement call is the correct one, but almost certainly more than a few years too late. Khan has nothing more to prove, and Brook showed him he had nothing more to give. The way his career petered out is regrettable, if nothing new. And at times it bordered on the farcical. Khan didn’t need the fights with Canelo Alvarez or Terence Crawford. Make no mistake, he was picked for a reason. The old champion on the irreversible decline, Khan still had his name if little else.
But we should never remember the decline, and Khan had some prime that should never be forgotten.
Khan claimed a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and he launched his professional career with Frank Warren with much fanfare. But a shocking one round destruction at the hands of Breidis Prescott in 2008 in many ways, set the tone for what was to come.
But Khan was given a rebuild and by 2011 was a unified light-welterweight champion of the world. Khan was at his best and proved something very few thought he had in that unforgettable war with Marcos Maidana in 2010. For me, his best night.
“I proved tonight I’ve got a chin,” Khan said post-fight. A point he seemed intent on proving far too often. Too many times he was too brave for his own good.
Khan was at peak and seemingly so close to the defining fight he craved, but back-to-back defeats to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia in 2011 and 2012 left Khan chasing something he couldn’t quite get back.
Too much time wasted in the fruitless chase for Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao held him back at crucial stages of his career. The Brook fight could have happened when it meant something, despite what happened in February, it is still a badly missed opportunity. We eventually got the fight but it wasn’t the fight it could have been. And should have been.
Khan never quite got the recognition his talents or achievements deserved, hopefully, retirement is kinder to his legacy. Khan leaves the sport with a 34-6 record, and hopefully, like Brook, the retirement is a permanent one.