Retiring too early would haunt me forever - Khan

By Sports Desk April 23, 2019

Amir Khan feels he has plenty still to offer to boxing and says retiring too early would "haunt me forever".

Khan was beaten by Terence Crawford in a WBO welterweight title bout on Saturday after succumbing to a low blow in the sixth round in New York.

The 32-year-old insisted after that he had been hit "in the balls" and would not ordinarily have bowed out early.

Khan also disputed suggestions he could now be done in boxing and reiterated that point as he explained how a premature retirement would hurt him.

"When you get older, everything changes," he told the Independent. "The whole ball game changes and everything you do is for your family

"But boxing is one of those sports where, once I leave the sport, I don't want to come back. I know I give my family a heart attack every time I fight and they hate me fighting, but it's just going to be for this one time in my life.

"Then after that, I can spend the rest of my life with my family. I know it hurts them and upsets them, but it's what I'm good at doing.

"I have to be ready to finish. I don't want to finish thinking, 'Could I have fought again?' You have to do it at the right time. It has to be a solid decision. Retiring at the wrong time would haunt me forever. It would haunt anyone."

But Khan believes he will enjoy retirement when it does come, adding: "These next couple of weeks will be quite interesting.

"I have to sit down with my close friends and also my wife. I'm at the age of 32 now, but I feel like I've got a lot left in me. Retirement is not something I'm looking at and I definitely wouldn't want to leave the sport in this way.

"I think retirement will be nice - one day, when I do retire. I think I will enjoy it because it would take a lot of pressure off me. You are then a free man."

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    Manny Pacquiao's camp have dismissed suggestions from Amir Khan that the Filipino great has agreed to a fight in Saudi Arabia in November.

    Khan announced on Tuesday that "both parties have signed the fight off" for Riyadh on November 8, suggesting only an injury to Pacquiao in his clash with Keith Thurman could scupper the planned bout.

    But with Pacquiao firmly focused on taking on Thurman for the WBA welterweight title in Las Vegas on Saturday, his team have spoken on his behalf to reject Khan’s claim.

    Sean Gibbons, president of MP Promotions, told "The Amir Khan fight is news to us."

    Fred Sternburg, Pacquiao's publicist, also stated no deal has been completed, telling The National: "Manny has not signed a contract for that fight."

    Multi-weight world champion Pacquiao, now 40, boasts a 61-7-2 record and has long been a target for Khan, who defeated Billy Dib in Jeddah last week.

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    Amir Khan says Manny Pacquiao has agreed to face him in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 8, provided the Filipino great comes through his fight with Keith Thurman unscathed.

    The 40-year-old Pacquiao (61-7-2) is set to face Thurman for the WBA Super welterweight title in Las Vegas on Saturday.

    Ahead of that contest, Khan, who improved his record to 34-5 by easing past late stand-in Billy Dib in Jeddah last week, said a deal is in place with Pacquiao's team.

    "Hopefully we can get that fight," the Briton told iFL TV. "Both parties have signed the fight off, but hopefully he comes out of there in one piece on the weekend against Keith Thurman, which is a hard fight for him.

    "If Manny comes out of this fight safe and sound without any injuries, I think that'll be the next one."

    Asked what will happen if Pacquiao loses to Thurman, Khan added: "I still think it's a big fight out there. Because Saudi wants to see Manny Pacquiao, Saudi wants to see me again.

    "Let's see what happens. At the moment, I think the Saudis want the Pacquiao fight more than any other name."

    Prior to his facile victory over Dib, Khan was previously in action in April, when he lost in controversial fashion to Terence Crawford, a low blow bringing the WBO welterweight title bout to a premature end.

    Khan has long courted a fight with multi-weight world champion Pacquiao, who will face Thurman this weekend having revived his career with victories over Lucas Matthysse and Adrien Broner following a shock loss to Jeff Horn in 2017.

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    Whitaker was a world champion in the lightweight, light welterweight, welterweight, and light middleweight divisions. He won the gold medal at the 1984 Olympics in the lightweight division.

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    When Whitaker retired in 2001, he had a 40-4-1 record as a professional, with one no contest and 17 knockouts.

    Regarded as one of the best defensive fighters of all time, Whitaker was inducted in to the Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006, his first year of eligibility.

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