Amir Khan says the time was right to retire from boxing as his “love for the sport wasn’t there anymore”, adding his career has “been wonderful” in an exclusive with Sky Sports.
The former world champion announced his retirement on Friday, ending with a 40-fight record of 34 wins and six defeats following his huge British battle with long-term rival Kell Brook in Manchester in February.
“It was a couple of weeks ago,” Khan told Sky Sports News on Friday regarding when the decision was made.
“Even before the last fight against Kell [Brook], my family were saying I should call it a day, and that I’d done everything I wanted to.
“I’d fought all around the world, against the biggest names in boxing, achieved many world titles. And it was in the back of my mind even before taking the last fight.
- Papers: Man Utd players pulled apart during training fight
- Pep on Evra, Berbatov criticism: ‘I destroyed them in CL finals’
- Transfer Centre LIVE! Bellingham to stay at Dortmund this summer
- Tuchel to gamble on Kovacic, Kante | ‘I understand Pep’s Liverpool comments’
- Coleen Rooney: Marriage was on the rocks when story leaked to newspaper
- Lukaku distances himself from agent’s claim he wants talks over Chelsea future
- PL Predictions: Leeds to start march to survival
- Mickelson withdraws from PGA Championship
- Nadal hints at retirement after injury flare-up
- Khan: Love for the sport wasn’t there anymore | It’s been wonderful
“But after it, I could feel that my love for the sport just wasn’t there anymore, and I decided I was going to call it a day but didn’t know when to announce it.
“That was a part of me that still wanted to do boxing and be part of it, but I just had to announce it.
“It feels quite funny really because boxing is something I’ve done all my life, and I’m so attached to it that I am going to miss it.
“I’ve had a brilliant career. My family told me a long time ago to retire, but I said: ‘No, I want to do a bit more’. it’s just hard to walk away from the sport. But I think it’s the right time to walk away now.
“Boxing has been brilliant for me. I thank all the fans, my trainers and coaches, my boxing family. It’s all I’ve known and it’s been wonderful.
“Since coming out of the Olympic Games at the age of 17, boxing changed my life and gave me a great platform.”
Khan says his wife, kids and parents all willed him to retire, as he thanked the sport for changing his life
Asked who the big influences in his camp were which helped him come to his retirement decision, Khan said his family were all willing him to step away.
The 35-year-old added that boxing totally changed his life.
“My wife and kids. My kids were saying: ‘Look daddy we want you to stay at home. We want you to be around us more,'” he added.
“I want to see my kids grow up. In boxing, having training camps and being away from home, away from your family, it’s very, very hard.
“My mum, my dad, they said the same thing. That I’ve been in the game a very long time. Over 20 years in the sport of boxing, taking punches to the head.
“At least I’m still in a good position that I can walk away from the sport, everything is intact. The last thing I want is me slurring or, as you can imagine, the amount of injuries you could get in boxing.
“Luckily, I’m one of those fighters that can walk out happy and content.
“Life totally changed [after the 2004 Olympics], but in a good way. It never got to my head, I always kept my feet on the ground.
“I can only thank boxing for what it’s done for my life.
“Honestly, I don’t know where I would be in life, and what boxing did for me was keep me on a straight path, and made me a better person.”
Khan’s dazzling career
As Amir Khan announces his retirement, we look at his many stunning knockouts.
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 made an audacious move up to middleweight to challenge Canelo for the WBC belt, suffering a sixth-round knockout loss in May 2016 and was stopped by Crawford in the sixth round of their WBO title fight in April 2019.
He eventually shared the ring with Brook in February, embracing his rival in the ring after their feud was finally ended.
‘The fastest fighter I’ve ever seen live!’
Amir Khan’s blistering speed has previously proven too much for the likes of Marco Antonio Barrera, Andreas Kotelnik and Devon Alexander.
Sky Sports expert Johnny Nelson believes Khan deserves huge praise for his bravery, along with his achievements.
“I was so happy when Kell announced his retirement and now Amir has done exactly the same and I’m so happy for that.
“I’ve seen this guy, this guy has got to be the fastest fighter I’ve ever seen live on his day.
“These two have given so much to the game.
“The general public won’t realise how good and what both fighters have done and what Amir Khan has done and how good he actually is.
“Remember, such a big fight with Kell Brook, but people who understand the fight game understand how good he was and exactly what he achieved and how much bottle he showed going over to America, basing himself there and fighting the best.
“It’s good news and I’m quite sure his family will be happy.”
Watch Boxxer Series in vertical view on Sky Sports app
Boxxer vertical stream
Enjoy this weekend’s BOXXER series action in a new and different way via our groundbreaking vertical format on the Sky Sports App.
From 7pm on Saturday night, you can watch the exciting cruiserweight tournament via a FREE vertical stream fully optimised to viewing on a mobile device – and you do not have to be a Sky customer to enjoy the action.
Go to the Sky Sports App from 7pm on Saturday to enjoy the action. Not got the app? Download it for free now:
- Download the Sky Sports App for iPhone & iPad
- Download the Sky Sports App for Android
Traditionally, sport has been broadcast in a 16:9 landscape ratio, but the 9:16 stream on the Sky Sports App will mean viewers can watch the boxing event in portrait mode.
Watch The BOXXER Series, a dramatic one-night tournament, in vertical format from 7pm on Saturday May 14.