Ashraf Ali Siddiqui complements a good
sportsman on his retirement
British boxer of Pakistan origin Amir khan’s latest retirement has announced his retirement from boxing after a 17-year professional career. The 35-year-old fighter, who became a unified world champion at light-welterweight, hangs up his gloves with a record of 34 wins from his 40 fights. The 2004 Olympic silver medalist won the first 18 contests of his pro career, becoming one of the finest British boxers of his era. Amir Khan has announced the end of his boxing career as he admitted: ‘it’s time to hang up my gloves’ after a defeat by Kell Brook. The 35-year-old former world champion, who suffered a stoppage loss to Brook in February, has confirmed his retirement in a message on social media.
Khan unified world titles at super-lightweight and faced pound-for-pound stars Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Terence Crawford during a 40-fight career, featuring 34 wins and six defeats. The Bolton fighter had launched his pro career in 2005 after winning an Olympic silver medal at the 2004 Athens Games. Khan became a world champion in July 2009, defeating Andriy Kotelnik on points to secure the WBA super-lightweight title, and he then stopped Zab Judah to add the IBF belt two years later. A hotly disputed points loss to Lamont Peterson ended Khan’s world title reign and he was halted by Danny Garcia while attempting to win the WBC and WBA belts in his next fight.
Khan burst on to the scene as a 17-year-old at the 2004 Olympics. He was the only boxing representative for Team GB at the Games. A silver medal in Athens generated additional funding for Team GB and paved the way for future Olympic stars such as Anthony Joshua and Nicola Adams. It also thrust Khan into the limelight and his transition into professional boxing came amid huge fanfare. He raced to 18 straight wins as a professional, with his lightning-fast hands dispatching most opponents in exciting fashion. After a surprise knockout loss to Breidis Prescott in 2008, Khan moved to the US and teamed up with renowned trainer Freddie Roach. Just 10 months after his first career defeat, Khan realised his childhood dream by beating Andreas Kotelnik at Manchester Arena for the WBA light-welterweight title.
Khan unashamedly spoke of a desire to ‘crack America’, a mission he achieved. By headlining arenas on the Las Vegas strip, he became a global star. His win over Zab Judah in 2011 earned him the IBF belt and a unified champion title. His career also saw impressive victories over the likes of Marcos Maidana, Devon Alexander and Luis Collazo, all further cementing his status as a British great. But his career has not been short of setbacks, either. He has been sensationally knocked out by Danny Garcia and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and suffered defeats to Lamont Peterson and current pound-for-pound star Terence Crawford. While those defeats leave a blemish on his record, Khan has often been praised for his willingness to take on the best and never duck a challenge.
Khan’s final outing saw a 17-year-feud, and one of the biggest rivalries in British boxing history, finally settled. Having been outclassed by Sheffield’s Brook in front of a packed-out crowd in Manchester, Khan hinted at retirement, saying his love of the sport was “not there anymore”. In the weeks that followed, Khan had suggested he might not be ready to hang up the gloves on a defeat, but has now opted to follow his rival into retirement. Outside the ring, he has maintained a strong public profile through his appearances in reality game-show ‘I’m a Celebrity’ and his own BBC reality TV show ‘Meet the Khans: Big in Bolton’. He has also been caught in the middle of multiple scandals including affairs outside of his marriage which has added to tarnishing his image. TW