By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
AMIR KHAN will know when to hang up his gloves.
And he insists he won’t be making an ill-fated comeback like his old pal Ricky Hatton.
The Bolton boxer claimed a morale-boosting 10th round stoppage win last weekend against Carlos Molina in Los Angeles and is back in the world title hunt after his devastating summer knockout by Danny Garcia.
Khan, 26, wants a rematch with Garcia late in 2013 before moving on to ‘Super Fights’. He wants to take on Floyd Mayweather Jnr in 2014. Khan has pointed to a possible retirement in three years, after six more fights, but will continue if he is not satisfied with what he has achieved.
He has earmarked an April title fight before he marries Faryal Makhdoom on May 31 and will then seek a rematch with Garcia at light-welterweight or welterweight before trying to clean up the higher division.
He will make sure there is no unfinished business like Hatton had after he was knocked out by Manny Pacquiao in 2009.
Hatton returned last month after a three-year absence but was KO’d by Vyacheslav Senchenko in nine rounds at the Manchester Arena. It was a sad end for a British boxing legend, but Khan will not be following a similar path.
He said: “It is all about finishing off this light welterweight division, becoming a world champion again, leaving that and moving up to welterweight and winning a couple of world titles.
“That’s what I want to do. That’s my ambition. Having the big fights against the likes of Mayweather is also my ambition.
“I always said that at 28 or 29 I will call it a day.
“I’m 26 now, and I think in three years I can have six fights and they can be six big fights. I’m not in no rush. I will know myself when to call it a day, I will see how my body feels. I will let my body make the decision.
“I want to leave the sport the way I walked in. A lot of fighters stay too long.
“I never want to be in that position [like Hatton] where you retire and then come back after three years.
“When I retire it will be because I want to retire and that I don’t want to achieve nothing more from the sport.
“I know a lot of fighters when they retire they think, ‘I want to go back in’ because they have unfinished business. I don’t want to do that.
“If I have unfinished business, I would not retire. I would just stay and keep boxing and keep myself fit. When I know the right time to retire, I will.”
Khan hit back at critics who say, after three defeats, he can’t reach the status of boxing greats like Mayweather, Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.
He said: “At the end of the day, when you lose, you learn from a loss. It’s about how you come back from a loss.
“One thing I will say is that I will fight anyone they put me in with. I can have a 100 per cent record if I wanted, by hand-picking my opponents.
“But I didn’t want that, I fought [Zab] Judah, Garcia. I did not have to fight these guys but I chose to because I never want to leave the sport of boxing thinking I did not fight the best.”
Khan believes he is a new fighter under trainer Virgil Hunter.
The Brit ditched Freddie Roach after the knockout by Garcia and spent eight weeks with Hunter before his LA fight on Saturday.
He said: “That was like a trial fight and I am confident what he is teaching is working for me, so I am going to be better in the next few fights.”
• DAVID PRICE will fight former world title challenger Tony Thompson in his next heavyweight bout.
Price will face the 41-year-old American at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on February 23.