Amir Khan wants Neeraj Goyat and Manny Pacquiao in next 2 fights before retirement
By Barry Holbrook: Amir Khan says he wants to fight Neeraj Goyat and Manny Pacquiao before retiring from the sport. Goyat (11-2-2, 2 KOs) holds the WBC Asian welterweight title, and he’s someone that Khan (34-5, 21 KOs) feels would attract a lot of interest from India and Pakistan.
Khan would like to fight Gota as a warm-up to get him ready for a massive fight against Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) next year. But at the same time, Khan isn’t sure when boxing will restart.
If the sport is shut down for an entire year, he may elect to retire rather than come off of a 2-year layoff. That’s an absurd amount of time to be out of the ring. Khan has already dealt with a lot of inactivity.
Khan has fought only six times in the last five years. He should have had twice that many fights if he’d stayed active and injury-free.
Khan excited about Goyat clash
“Maybe one or maybe two,” said Khan to IFL TV in announcing he could be retiring after one or two more fights. “I’ve done everything I wanted to do in boxing. And I’ve won world titles, fought at Madison Square Garden, but what’s going to motivate you? I’ve been around and fought the best pound-for-pound fighters. Maybe have one or two fights, and then go into managing young fighters.
“Since it’s been a long time out of the ring, I think I’d go with the WBC Asian champion, which is Neeraj Goyat, and then after him fight Manny Pacquiao and call it a day [retire]. I’d like to fight Goyat because being this long out of the ring, and at the same time being ranked in the top 10 with the WBC, it makes sense to take that fight in Saudi Arabia or wherever. It’s a decent fight.
What makes it even bigger is he’s an Indian boxer, and I’m a British Pakistani. It would be even bigger. Politically it would get huge. The war between Pakistan and India has been going on for many years, as you know. That’s right; it was a car accident.
“It was supposed to be him [Goyat]. Everyone was happy with that fight, and the WBC put a title on the line for that fight. Then he had the accident. I couldn’t have him in the ring with one leg,” said Khan.
There won’t be a lot of interest in a Khan vs. Goyat fight from UK and American boxing fans so that it would be another low-level clash for him. Khan is coming off of a mismatch against Billy Dib last July in Saudi Arabia, and that fight failed to resonate with fans.
Pacquiao will be massive fight – Khan
“The Pacquiao fight. That would be a massive fight,” said Khan. “Stylistically, that’s a fight [Pacquiao] that would motivate you and get you up. It’s hard to get switched on now. I remember talking to Manny at the Wildcard. He was around 30 then, and even then, he was finding it hard to motivate himself.
“What he needed was big names to motivate him. Back then, he was fighting the likes of Shane Mosley and Oscar De La Hoya. Big names he was fighting like Cotto. You need that motivation.
“I could call it a day now if I wanted to, but I feel like there’s a little bit more left in me. Manny Pacquiao, for me, would be a full complete career that I wanted,” said Khan.
Pacquiao vs. Khan will be a big fight if it happens next year. However, the long layoff could potentially send both fighters into retirement. Pacquiao and Khan both haven’t fought since last July.
If the sport still hasn’t restarted by July 2021, that would be two years out of the ring for them. Will Khan and Pacquiao want to continue fighting off of a 2-year layoff? It would be asking a lot of them to come back at that point.
Amir tried to get Mayweather clash
“I wanted Mayweather more [than Pacquiao] because I thought, stylistically, it was a better fight,” said Khan. “It’s one of those things. Look, I tried my hardest to get that fight. It’s one of those things. Some fights happen, and some don’t. I wanted to fight them because they’re at the top of the game.
“You want to fight those that are at the top of the ladder. We’ve been up there with the likes of Canelo and Crawford. We have fought the top people. People can say what they want, but I’ve never ducked a fight. I’d jump into the deep water and not care, and take the risk,” said Khan.
“At the same time, I see myself among the top fighters, and I want to fight the top,” said Khan. “I’m still in the top 10 in the world rankings. My name is always being mentioned with Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. I want to fight the best. I want to fight at 147, and I made the mistake of moving up and down weights,” said Khan.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. may have been scared off by Khan’s hand speed years ago when he was trying to get a fight against him in 2014. Mayweather opted to take easier battles against Andre Berto, Marcos Maidana, and Robert Guerrero rather than face Khan. The fact that Mayweather elected not to fight Khan is a compliment to him because it shows he was wary enough of his skills not to meet him.
Khan wants to retire on his terms
“I don’t want boxing to retire me. I want to retire before,” said Khan. “And I would fight this summer. The longer I leave it now. My body isn’t like it was 25 or 26. It might be a year before another big sporting even happens again.
“So that’s another year out. I just want to wait and see, and it’s hard for me to say at the moment,” said Khan about whether he should retire. It has to be a bigger fight because there’s a high price there at the end of it as well.
“You need a big fight to motivate you. I’m not getting motivated fighting whoever What motivated me for my last fight against Billy Dib was that it was Saudi Arabia, opening a new door for boxing, and that’s why I did it. Let’s see what the options are,” said Khan.
It’s essential for Khan that he gets out of the sport while he still has a little bit left in the tank. He doesn’t want to be forced out of the game in losing to mediocre opposition that wouldn’t have beaten him in his prime.
Khan’s won-lost record should be better than it is. He made a lot of mistakes earlier in his career by being overly aggressive and not using his skills.
You can argue that Khan’s loses to Briedis Prescott, Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia were fights that he could have won had he boxed instead of slugged with those guys.
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