Amir Khan explains why he took so long to get his damaged hand fixed

British star and former 140-pound champ Amir Khan revealed a few weeks ago how he has been carrying a hand injury, one which has seriously affected his ability to punch with full power with his right hand, for a number of years – 11 years in fact. Speaking with The Sun, Khan said the injury, picked up in his second year as a pro, allowed him to punch with just 30 or 40 percent power. As to why he has waited until this year to get the necessary surgery, Khan said he could not afford to take off as long as six months for the op.

“I kept the news of my hand quiet from everyone,” Khan said. “I had to because I didn’t want any of my opponents to know about it, I didn’t want to give away an advantage. I know people might question why I didn’t get the operation sooner but I couldn’t – I was too set on chasing my dream to become world champion and I was in big fights. I was one of the brightest prospects in the UK, the pressure was on me and I had to fight. I couldn’t afford to take six months off for an operation. I am going to go into fights now knowing I have power in this right hand and it is all right. That in itself is massive confidence boost.”

Khan says he plans to box again in January. As he was knocked out by Saul Canelo Alvarez in May, Khan could not fight again for six months as per BBB of C rules, therefore he had the time needed to get the operation; one where bone from his hip was grafted onto his right hand. As to whether or not Khan will suddenly be capable flattening his opponents upon his return, well, that remains at this point wishful thinking from Khan fans. Khan did say though, how he is “really excited to get in the ring and punch somebody in the face.”

Just who Khan will punch in the face in his next fight is open to question. Khan is the number-one contender for Danny Garcia’s WBC welterweight crown and Khan might try and avenge his 2012 KO loss to “Swift,” but it would be foolish of Khan to jump straight back in with a big fight when a tune-up would be far more sensible. But Khan remains an exciting fighter and it wouldn’t be a massive shock if he were to go on to win another big fight/world title before his up and down career finally reaches its end.

Khan is of course not the first fighter to have boxed for a long time whilst hiding an injury – think Joe Frazier who, astonishingly, fought with just partial vision in his left eye for years; this making Khan’s undisclosed handicap look like kid’s stuff in comparison – but it does make you wonder how much better Khan might, might, have been had he had full power in his right hand all this time.