Khan wants Mayweather and Pacquiao before retiring
By Charles Brun: Amir Khan (34-5, 21 KOs) says he wants to finish out his career with one or two more fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao before he walks away from the sport. Those are the fights that would motivate former IBF/WBA light-welterweight champion Khan to return to the ring to start training.
It’s difficult for Khan, 33, to get motivated for a simple fight against an average fighter because there’s nothing for him to gain. Khan is already financially set for life, and now it’s more about him wanting to fight the legends of the sport.
Khan wants the big names
In Khan’s last two fights in 2019, he’s beaten lightweight Billy Dib (46-6, 26 KOs) and lost to WBO 147-pound champion Terence Crawford. Now it’s essential for Khan to take on a real big name.
That’s not a knock on Crawford because he’s got a decent fan base, but he’s not in the same league as Mayweather and Pacquiao in terms of his following. Khan wants to fight the top guys, and it’s now or never.
Amir came close to getting fights against Manny and Floyd, but for some reason, those two chose not to fight him. It could be that they didn’t want to deal with Khan’s hand speed, or perhaps they were put off by his occasional knockout losses.
Mayweather said he wanted to fight Khan
“I wasted so much time doing that,” said Khan to Sky Sports Boxing in talking about how he wasted his time trying to get fights against Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. many years ago. Neither of the fights happened.
“If the Manny Pacquiao fight happens, then that’s great motivation to go back to the gym and train hard. Those are fights that motivate me. I’m financially good.
“The only thing out there for me is a fight against a Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. Mayweather picks who he wants to fight. He wants to be the boss, he wants to be the main headline, and he wants to show that as well. He said, ‘Amir, I need a dancing partner. Let’s make it happen.’ I said, ‘Yo, Floyd. I’m waiting for you. Let’s make it happen.’
“If I had a fight against Mayweather, it would have been a hit and move, and it would have been a game of chess. To beat him at his own game is how you beat Mayweather. Fighters try to put pressure on him and leave themselves open and get caught,” said Khan.
The conversation between Mayweather and Khan took place in 2018. Mayweather hasn’t fought a boxer since 2015, and he’s back in training for a likely comeback against another MMA fighter. It would be great for boxing if Mayweather switched things up by facing Khan or someone else from the sport rather than taking yet another easy match against a Conor McGregor type of fighter.
Khan to retire after one or two more fights
“One or two more fights,” said Khan. “It’s hard to motivate yourself in a fight behind closed doors without fans there. For me to be inside the ring without fans, even if they’re shouting for my opponents, it still feels like there are other people there, and you want to put a showcase on.
“Having no fans there would make it very hard to motivate me. Some fighters may be different, but for me, it would be tough. I can’t switch myself on. When boxing starts again, we need to put the big fights on straightaway to get the fans back.
“In MMA, you have the best fighting the best. In boxing, you’re not getting that with the best battle the best, and that’s why the sport’s not doing that well.
“After the pandemic ends, if we put on some great fights and great shows, I think boxing will be back at the top again. I believe boxing can be back at the top again, but at this moment in time, the big fights need to happen for that,” said Khan.
Pacquiao hasn’t said who he’ll be fighting next, but it would be interesting for fans to see him and Khan fight. For Pacquiao, he’s likely to look in the direction of Mikey Garcia when the sport restarts. Mikey has been calling Pacquiao out for the last two years, and some boxing fans would like to see those two battle it out.
Amir never bounced back after losses
What Khan has going against him in getting a big money fight against Mayweather and Pacquiao is his lack of wins over credible opponents in the last eight years of his career. Since losing to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, Khan hasn’t done anything special to put him up there with the top fighters. The last time Khan held a world title was back in 2012 when he fought Danny.
Khan was never able to win another world title after that loss. One of the problems is Khan got caught in a cycle of taking endless tune-up fights after his losses to Peterson and Garcia, and he never got off that cycle.
Khan’s career turned into a situation where he was just looking to fight different guys, but not going after world titles. He also wasted a considerable amount of time trying to pressure Pacquiao and Mayweather to fight him, and it never worked. They ignored Khan and fought other opponents.
We’ll see which direction Mayweather goes in when combat sports are allowed to take place after the lockdown. Given Mayweather’s past, it’s not likely that he’ll choose to face Khan or any boxer. At 43, Mayweather is setting up fights for entertainment against guys that are no threat to beating him.
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