Amir Khan’s 16-year professional career may be nearing its conclusion but the 33-year-old is adamant he’ll have one last hurrah before he finally hangs up his gloves.
Khan, whose last fight was a fourth-round win over Billy Dib in Saudi Arabia in July, had reportedly been considering quitting the sport ahead of the weekend but insisted on social media that he still has his sight’s set on one last blockbuster showdown against either his bitter domestic rival Kell Brook or eight-weight world champion, Manny Pacquiao.
Speaking to Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn via Instagram Live, Khan said: "I have a couple of fights left in me, one or two at least.
"I've had 39 fights, a great career. I love the sport to bits but there will come a day when I want to do other things.
"The biggest fights motivate me. When you've made so much money and won world titles, what's going to motivate you? A Manny Pacquiao fight is huge, wherever it was, then you have Kell Brook, another massive fight in the UK."
Regardless of Khan’s next move, we’re moving to a point in the Bolton fighter’s career where the end is, in theory at least, in sight. Despite a lot of unfair criticism directed at him throughout his career, the Olympic silver medallist has a history of mixing it up with the best out there and since switching to the paid ranks in 2004 has dazzled fight fans with some brilliant performances. Below we take a look at five of his best...
Vs Marcos Maidana (December 11, 2010, Las Vegas)
‘King Khan’ made his Vegas debut against the tough-as-nails Argentine Marcos Maidana in a thriller at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino.
It was almost over inside the first round when Khan landed a wonderful combination of body punches and dropped his opponent to the canvas but it nearly ended in disaster for Khan in the tenth when he was dazed by a crunching right hand and a subsequent flurry of uppercuts.
He managed to survive the onslaught and regained his composure over the next two rounds to claim a unanimous points decision. The fact Maidana would give Floyd Mayweather Jr. a real scare four years later, shows just how good Khan's win over the South American actually was.
Vs Zab Judah (July 23, 2011, Las Vegas)
Under the tutelage of trainer Freddie Roach, Khan returned to Vegas for the second time in seven months after a war of words with Brooklyn's Zab Judah on Twitter led to their July 23 showdown.
Khan put in a career-best performance against Judah, bamboozling the American over five rounds before stopping the affair with a big body punch to unify the IBF and WBA super-lightweight title.
Vs Paulie Malignaggi (May 15, 2010, New York)
It’s no secret that Amir Khan’s best weapon is his blistering speed but never was it as deadly as it was against Paulie Malignaggi, whom he squared off with at Madison Square Garden a decade ago.
Malignaggi was top operator going into the bout and his only defeats at the time were against Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, and Juan Diaz - a loss he’d already avenged.
Khan completely outmatched the New Yorker and was ahead in every round before stopping ‘The Magic Man’ in the eleventh. After the fight Malignaggi, now a respected pundit, said: "I've fought two elite fighters, Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan. From here, I'm not sure where I go. I'll sit down with my team. I don't want to be a punching bag."
Vs Devon Alexander (December 13, 2014, Las Vegas)
Now under veteran trainer Virgil Hunter’s guidance, Amir Khan followed his game plan down to a tee and patiently outboxed the talented former two weight world champion over 12 rounds.
All three judges scored heavily in Khan's favour with scores of 119–109, 118–110 and a shutout of 120–108.
Khan reiterated his desire to fight Floyd Mayweather after the victory and promoter Oscar De La Hoya said: "So now I know why Mayweather doesn't want to fight him. He was brilliant. I wouldn't have fought him. He is hitting his peak just now. He looked incredible."
Vs Luis Collazo (May 3, 2014, Las Vegas)
Unbeaten since 2011, Luis Collazo was billed as a potential banana skin to Khan going into this one on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather and Maidana’s first scrap at the MGM Grand.
However, it ended up as one-sided as a fight can get thanks mostly to Collazo's insistence to fight with his hands down - so cocksure was he that Amir Khan's power couldn't trouble him. A regrettable battle tactic for the former world champion who lost on the judge's cards of 117–106, 119–104, 119–104, barely landing a punch over the distance.