Amir Khan must retire from boxing following his brutal defeat to long-term rival Kell Brook on Saturday night.
Khan has had a quite remarkable career, during which he has experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
Saturday’s defeat to Kell Brook was really somewhere in the middle, with Khan unable to land a glove on his opponent, but earning back the respect of the boxing community with the bravery and durability he showed in the ring.
Though, in the build-up to the bout, the suggestion was that the loser would never be able to show their face in public again, Khan can stroll the streets with his head held high today.
His return to fighting action after almost three years away had fans reminiscing of his memorable accomplishments in the first few years of the previous decade.
He is, though, a shadow of the fighter he was ten years ago – and there’s no shame in that, of course. Age, ring rust and an increased number of beatdowns in the latter stages of his career have left their mark on the Bolton-born boxer.
You wonder how much confidence he actually had in himself heading into the bout. He talked the talk, but was unable to back it up in the ring, with there being no arguments from him when the referee waved it off in the sixth round.
We’re left with the impression that Khan knew the opportunity to FINALLY stage the fight against Brook would provide him with what would likely be the final grand payday of his career. He simply couldn’t pass it up.
Considering the nature of the sport, you wouldn’t be surprised if fighters across the division were licking their lips at the prospect of fighting that version of Khan and adding his illustrious name to their records.
As long-term admirers of Khan, we would urge him to resist any temptation to inflate his bank balance in exchange for his health.
His record has been tainted significantly as it is. He has been continually memed by trolls on the internet, who clearly took pleasure in seeing him laid out on the canvas at various points in his career.
If he were to retire now, he would do so having been on his feet at the end of his final fight.
He would have no [visible or reported] lasting damage done from the punches he has taken.
That’s how a fighter of his quality deserves to bow out – not by being escorted out the ring on a stretcher.
On the back of a defeat to his most bitter of rivals is not how he would have envisaged the end of his boxing career, but being commended after one last dance with another great of his era is romantic enough.
Now’s the time for Khan to enjoy the immense riches he has amassed through his boxing career, rather than deciding to prolong it through greed.