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Amir Khan to fight in March in UK

Amir Khan

By Tim Royner: Amir Khan (31-4, 19 KOs) says he’ll be returning to the ring for a tune-up fight in March of next year in the UK. Khan, 31, will have been out of the ring for almost 2 years by the time he fights next year.

Khan states that he’ll be taking part in a big fight in 2018. He’s not saying who that’ll be, but it would seem likely that he’ll finally be taking the contest against Kell Brook. That fight is long overdue at this point. If Khan doesn’t face Brook now, he might miss out on his chance entirely.

Brook’s career looks like it’s on the brink of implosion. He’s got a tough fight against Sergey Rabchenko on March 3. If he loses that fight, it’ll be his 3rd straight defeat. It might be a waste of time for Khan to fight him at that point.

“I am going to fight in March,” Khan said to the “I want to fight in the UK, I think it is time.”

Khan was knocked out in the 6th round in his last match by former WBC middleweight champion Saul Canelo Alvarez on May 7, 2016. It was wise for Khan to take a break from boxing after that defeat. He had been knocked unconscious by Canelo. It would have been a bad idea for Khan to rush back to the ring in 2016 to fight again. Khan also had hand surgery on his right hand to heal a longstanding injury that had plagued him since his amateur days. However, Khan was expected to comeback in 2017 to continue his boxing career. Khan even said that he would be fighting in April of 2017. When that failed to happen, it left some fans wondering whether Khan still has the desire to fight. Khan later said he would be fighting in late 2017. That didn’t happen either. Now he’s saying he’ll fight in March of 2018. We’ll have to wait and see whether Khan is serious this time. Just based on what Khan has said in the recent past about his comeback dates, you must take what he says with a grain of salt. Until Khan is scheduled to fight someone, it might be best to remain skeptical about whether he’ll be back inside the ring at all.

Khan has made a lot of money in his career, and that give him the freedom to stay out of the ring a lot longer than it would for normal fighters not making a lot of money.

“I was on the phone to Al (Haymon). We have talks of doing a big fight next year. But again, a tune up first, said Khan to Ring IQ TV. Yeah Virgil (Hunter) is still my trainer so I’m going to be flying out there in the next week or two.”

Khan isn’t saying which division he’ll be fighting in, but it would seem likely that he’ll be back at 147. Khan clearly doesn’t belong at middleweight, which is where he last fought in 2016 in his loss to Canelo.

The tune-up level opponent will likely be a light puncher, and not a threat to beating Khan. Someone like Aaron Herrera would be perfect for Khan. Herrera recently fought Jessie Vargas last Friday night, and lost a wide 10 round decision. Khan needs to face someone that won’t be trying to take his head off. In the past, Khan was knocked down and staggered multiple times in taking a tune-up fight against a past his prime Julio Diaz in 2013. That fight showed that Khan needs to be careful when he’s taking on tune-up opponents, because he doesn’t possess the chin to dominate guys that otherwise would be over-matched.

“It’s concrete (my comeback) early next year. I’m taking a tune up fight next because obviously I’ve not fought so hopefully get that tune up fight out-of-the-way and go back to a big fight,” said Khan.

It’s going to be tough for Khan to be one of the major players in the welterweight division like he was in the past. The 147-lb. division has a lot of solid fighters that Khan would have problems with, especially with him having been so inactive for much of the past 5 years. Khan’s inactivity problems ate back to 2013. That’s when he began to fight more seldom, as he spent a lot of time traveling around the world in what appeared to be one vacation after another. When Khan did fight, it was mostly once a year against the likes of Julio Diaz, Chris Algieri and Canelo. To be successful in boxing, a fighter needs to be active and not on continuous vacations. Floyd Mayweather Jr. is one of the rare fighters that have been able to succeed at the sport while fighting only part time since 2007. Khan looks like his inactivity has hurt his game. He struggled against Algieri in 2015 in running out of gas in the second half of the fight. Khan looked exhausted by round 5 against Canelo, which led to him being knocked out in round 6.

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