Amir Khan admits he makes himself aware of the negative things that are said and written about him by fans and the media.
What’s more important, Khan says, is not allowing those things to affect his psyche. Otherwise, one of the most polarizing figures in boxing wouldn’t have been able to continue with his career.
England’s Khan talked about “the stick” he gets Friday as part of an Instagram Live interview with promoter Eddie Hearn. The former WBA and IBF 140-pound champion also advised younger fighters to focus more on boxing and less on social media.
“Nowadays we have all this Instagram, Twitter and everything,” Khan said. “And I think it can take your eye off the game sometimes. If you start reading the comments of people, don’t let that get to you as well, because sometimes that can put you right down. And I think with these up-and-coming fighters, they need to stay a little bit more focused on the boxing.
“Forget what people are saying. Because if I – I’ve been one of them fighters where if I let people, all the sh-t I get and all the things I’ve read about myself, if I let that get to me it would’ve destroyed me. But don’t ever let those things get to you, because you know what? It’s only gonna put you down.”
The 33-year-old Khan also informed Hearn he has “a couple” more fights left in him.
The 2004 Olympic silver medalist didn’t have a fight scheduled when the COVID-19 pandemic brought boxing to a standstill last month. Khan (34-5, 21 KOs) hasn’t fought since he stopped Australia’s Billy Dib in the fourth round of their welterweight bout July 12 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Khan still hopes to fight Manny Pacquiao, a topic that typically incites critics Khan wishes were more understanding of fighters.
“I think that’s what people need to realize – look how hard we work,” Khan said. “Like you might fight, you might win some, you lose some. But, you know, it’s the work that we put in, 10 weeks of training camp, away from your family, away from your friends. And you’re literally waking up in the early hours of the morning, going for a run, you come back home, you sleep again, you eat, and then you train again. I mean, it’s hard, man. It’s not easy. And still to get stick for that, you think, ‘You know, if people knew my life.’ They think you live this lavish life and everything, but when you’re in training camp it’s not a lavish life, man.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing