by James Slater – Ask some fighters, or fight experts, and they will tell you that as soon as a boxer starts to even talk openly about retiring, he is already halfway towards quitting the ring. Fans of Amir Khan, the reigning WBA light-welterweight champion, had better hope this is not true in the case of the 23-year-old.
Yet while Khan is only 23 and a mere 23 fights into his pro career, he has been talking already about how and when he plans to quit the ring.. Speaking with popular British newspaper The News of The World yesterday, Khan said he will call it a day at the age of 28, in the year 2015. However, the former Olympian also made it clear how he wants to take on the best fighters his 140-pound weight class has to offer before he’s through – and that, according to the Bolton man, means fights against Floyud Mayweather Junior and Manny Pacquiao.
“In the next four years I will have all my big fights, so in five years time I will be gone,” Khan said to the paper. “When I hit my peak I will be fighting men like Floyd Mayweather Junior and Manny Pacquiao. They will be my last few fights. There are so many big fights in my division, but my body will tell me when to call it a day.”
Khan, who faces the slick Paulie Malignaggi on May 15th, in what will be his U.S debut and second defence of his WBA 140-pound belt, may well be out of luck if he really believes he will be facing either Mayweather or Pacquiao in 2014 or 2015. Mayweather, still unbeaten at 40-0, is 33 years-old now, and will almost certainly be retired himself long before 2014. While Pacquiao, who has ambitions, as we know, of a political nature, is currently aged 31 and will also surely be retired and in The Hall of Fame long before Khan hits his peak.
It’s strange that Khan is even talking about when he will call it a day, because, despite his not inconsiderable accomplishments, he has not made his mark on the world scene quite yet, nor has he convinced the critics he is the real deal. Shouldn’t Khan be focused on proving how good he is instead of mapping out his retirement plan? Then again, fellow Brit and WBA heavyweight champ David Haye has also made it clear how he has made up his mind about when he will retire; so maybe modern day fighters are simply better equipped than their predecessors when it comes to planning their later years.
Still, Khan should certainly be worrying more about Malignaggi and less about his exit from the sport. For if “King Khan” is looking past “The Magic Man” and if he loses as a result, his exit from the upper echelons of the sport could come much sooner than he thinks!