Amir Khan sounded like a fighter uncertain if he’d ever enter the ring again in a story published Thursday by London’s Daily Mirror.
England’s Khan clarified his future in boxing Friday during an Instagram Live interview with Eddie Hearn. The former IBF/WBA 140-pound champion told his promoter that he intends to box “a couple” more times.
“I’m not done yet,” Khan said. “No, no. I still have a couple of fights left in me. I’ve been in the game a very long time. I’ve had almost 40 fights. I’ve had 39 fights. I’ve had a brilliant career and I love the sport to bits. But I think there’s gonna come a day where I wanna do other things as well, because it’s hard for me to do my charity work and do all my appearance stuff and travel the world.”
The 33-year-old Khan has made a lot of money in boxing, but this grueling sport isn’t entirely out of his system just yet. Khan again mentioned “massive” welterweight fights against Manny Pacquiao and British rival Kell Brook as possibilities.
“In the back of my mind, there was always boxing,” Khan said. “I always have boxing in the back of my mind. I can’t really chill out properly. Until I say I’m done boxing, then I can feel free. Then I can feel like I can do whatever I want. But at this moment in time, I still wanna fight. And we just don’t know how long this coronavirus is gonna last.”
Khan didn’t have a fight scheduled when the COVID-19 pandemic brought the boxing business to a halt in mid-March.
In his last fight, Khan (34-5, 21 KOs) beat Billy Dib by fourth-round technical knockout. Australia’s Dib (46-6, 26 KOs, 2 NC) moved up two weight classes to fight Khan on short notice when Khan’s original opponent, India’s Neeraj Goyat, suffered injuries in a car accident that forced him to withdraw from that July 12 bout in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Dib, a former IBF featherweight champion, had never boxed above the lightweight limit when he agreed to face Khan in a 12-round welterweight fight. Khan dropped Dib once apiece in the second and fourth rounds before their bout was stopped.
Khan lost to WBO welterweight champ Terence Crawford by sixth-round TKO in his previous fight, April 20 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Crawford (36-0, 27 KOs), a three-division champion from Omaha, Nebraska, knocked down Khan in the first round and stopped him in the sixth, when Khan declined to continue after Crawford landed what was ruled an accidental low blow.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.