“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,” said Amir Khan.
Last weekend saw two major boxing fights that concerned British boxing fans. The first was a continuation of a public brawl (it was all set up and part of a plan, claim conspiracists) between two troubled heavyweights – David Haye and Dereck Chisora – with Haye overpowering Chisora and knocking him out in the fifth round after a good combination connected cleanly and ended the bout.
The other fight saw Britain’s Amir Khan take on American Danny Garcia. After a good start from Khan, the third and fourth rounds saw Garcia assert himself and knock Khan down three times as claims of ‘overrated’, ‘glass chin’ and other insults subsequently found their way into media reports alongside calls for Khan to ‘retire’. Khan is only 25 and an ex-Champ.
Boxing is clouded with trash talk, usually before fights, but poor Khan seems to be getting it consistently, despite him being something of a media-darling in the UK. Garcia’s father, the aptly-named ‘Angel’, claimed he’d never seen “a Pakistani who can fight” before denying he was racist. Despite Khan being gracious in defeat, Garcia’s father continues the trash talk (where does Angel’s lack of class come from? His son is humble in comparison) and so far denying Khan the opportunity of a rematch.
Amir Khan personifies what a British Muslim is about. Khan represented Great Britain at the Olympics in 2004 winning silver and is a self-proclaimed British-Pakistani, as most second- and third-generation Brits will proudly proclaim. Whilst not forgetting his heritage, Khan has clearly embraced a Britishness which some claim can never exist alongside a person’s Muslimness – a question of allegiances – but few will question (or even know of) the allegiance of the thousands who perished fighting for Britain across two World Wars. Khan is not the only Muslim to represent Great Britain in sport – Muhammed Sbihi and Mohammed Farah are two others who are hunting the gold for Great Britain this summer at the Olympics. Yet still the suspicion of British Muslims continues.
What next for Amir Khan? His latest loss is his third career loss, and two of those losses came in his last two fights. It has also been reported that he is also considering his relationship with his current trainer, the legendary Freddie Roach, amid claims that Roach prioritises another fighter in his stable, Manny Pacquiao.
Whatever Khan does, he has to choose wisely. Does he go into a rematch with Garcia knowing that another loss could more-or-less end his career? Or does he choose a lesser opponent and restart his pursuit of a world title?
Khan bounced back from his first defeat to win a world title and irregularities in his second defeat mitigated against his loss and he was preparing for a rematch, before his opponent was banned for failing a drugs test.
“Many fighters down the years have bounced back from defeat to prove their greatness and that’s exactly what I intend to do,” says Khan.
Originally published at MPACUK
- Amir Khan: Dreams on hold for the Bolton boxer (michaelviggars.com)
- Floyd Mayweather Sr. Bashes Freddie Roach for being an incapable trainer – Boxing News (blogs.bettor.com)
- Amir Khan Must Not Be Written off After Knockout Loss to Danny Garcia (bleacherreport.com)
- Boxing: Beaten Amir Khan hits back at Carl Froch’s call to retire (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- Froch: I never said Khan should retire (espn.co.uk)