By Jake Donovan
Former 140 lb. titlist Amir Khan released a statement on his officlal website on Monday, speaking on the draining knockout loss to Danny Garcia on Saturday evening.
“I would thank all my fans and well wishers for the amazing support I've had from you since my defeat on Saturday night,” Khan said in a blog on amirkhanworld.com. “Obviously the fight never went as planned but credit has to go to Danny Garcia who caught me with a good shot in the third round that I couldn't fully recover from.”
Rumors have swirled all over the UK following recent comments made by Khan, who hinted that traveling worldwide for what amounted to four months of training camp wasn’t in his best interest. The UK media interpreted the statement as his intentions to leave Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, though nothing of the sort has remotely been confirmed by Khan.
Saturday’s fight was the latest in a year filled with major upsets. Khan was in control from the opening bell, but managed to get caught up in a slugfest. Garcia rode out the initial storm before dramatically turning the tide late in the third round with a left hook that caught Khan just below the jawline.
“I guess that's boxing, where one punch can change everything,” Khan continued. “[I]t's the reason so many fans love the sport. Many fighters down the years have bounced back from defeat to prove their greatness and that's exactly what I intend to do.”
Khan appeared out on his feet upon rising, but was allowed to continue in the fourth. The Brit was floored twice more but was still alert enough to verbally protest the (correctly ruled) stoppage made by referee Kenny Bayless.
Where Khan goes from here in a boxing sense remains to be seen. In “real life” outside the ring, the plan for Khan – a devout Muslim – is to prepare for the holy season of Ramadan, which begins Friday.
The Brit also mentioned prior to the fight his intentions of taking in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, in particular supporting the Great Britain Olympic boxing squad. Khan was the lone boxing representative for Great Britain as a teenager in the 2004 Games, capturing the silver medal.
What comes next month depends on where Khan’s head and health lies. There were talks of moving up to welterweight, though the heart of those rumors stemmed from the possibility of a future showdown with Floyd Mayweather.
Such a fight was already dependent on the health of the currently imprisoned boxer, who will be eligible to defend his status as the sport’s leading stateside attraction once he’s sprung in late August.
Khan’s devastating loss to Garcia clearly disrupts those plans and possibly any visions of moving up at all. His fighting pride is already suggestion one more run in the weight class in which he reigned as a titlist for 2 ½ years.
“I'm going to spend the next few weeks relaxing during Ramadan and recharging my batteries after what was a 16 week training camp for me. I'll then sit down with my team to assess the options in front of me.”
Khan has now officially lost two straight, though last December’s loss to Lamont Peterson is still being reviewed. Pre-fight random drug testing for their planned May rematch revealed synthetic testosterone in Peterson’s system. The D.C. native admitted to using it prior to the win over Khan last December, though his legal team claims it was for medical purposes. His failure to apply for a medical exemption has led the matter to be investigated, which could change the result to a no-contest.
That aside, there is nothing disputed or inconclusive about Saturday’s outcome. Khan knows this and is simply prepared to move on.
“Well done to Danny Garcia on his performance,” Khan states of his latest conqueror. “I promise that I'll bounce back stronger than ever as I look to regain my spot at the top of the 140lb division.”
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor for Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter: @JakeNDaBox