By Terence Dooley
Amir Khan has vowed to come back strong after his recent reverse to Philadelphia’s Danny Garcia and ensure that he gets back among the world titles. The 25-year-old Bolton-based boxer was dropped in round three then stopped in the fourth after electing to stand toe-to-toe with “Swift”, who now holds the WBC and WBA light-welterweight titles.
Khan, though, is gearing himself up to prove the naysayers wrong and pointed to how he bounced back from his first-round stoppage defeat to Breidis Prescott in September 2008 when pledging to reestablish himself at the top of the 140lb division.
“I have always had people like that who have criticized me in my career,” said Khan when speaking to BoxingScene.com about the kneejerk post-fight calls for him to retire.
“But I’m only 25 and a two-time world champion already. I’ve won other titles and went to America to fight their guys. No one does what I did – going to America to fight guys in their hometown. That is how much of a professional I am because I want to be the best.
“I’ve been fighting the best I can since I was 17 to move up and up. It is hard to see anyone who did the same from those 2004 [Greek] Olympics [where Khan won a silver medal after losing to Mario Kindelan in the final], lots of guys retired or didn’t win the titles, but I have always done great. Even though I lost that [Garcia] fight, I know I’ll come back stronger.”
He added: “It’s boxing, you win and you lose. Maybe it was something I even needed because I’m going to change a lot of things for next time. I promise you, I will be a better fighter.”
Khan was dissatisfied due to a lack of face time with his trainer, Freddie Roach, prior to the Garcia fight. Recent reports, since denied, have linked Emanuel Steward with Khan, but the 26-3 (18) former champion intends to discuss things with his team rather than make a hasty decision about his next training camp.
“I think at the time, I wanted more time with Freddie, but I respect Freddie and that he’s got to spend time with Manny – who is number one. But I’m in the position where I don’t want to be number two, I want to be number one and that’s what I have to have – I need someone who is with me all the time. I’m going to speak with my team next week because I want to get everyone’s opinions, and I’m staying at light-welter.”
Khan has been keeping a close eye on this year’s Olympic Games, often appearing ringside at London’s Excel Arena to cheer his compatriots on. The 2004 silver medalist had some words of advice for the British team.
“Stay focused,” said Amir as talked turned to the likes of Anthony Joshua, Anthony Ogogo, Luke Campbell, Nicola Adams, Fred Evans and Thomas Stalker. “Keep on your A game and don’t let anything get to you.
“Don’t worry about the fans, just worry about winning your fights and know that if you do win them then you become Olympic champion and your life changes. I just want to wish them all the best. I’ll be there. The atmosphere will be great, so it is about not getting overcome with feeling.”
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