|Amir Khan squares off with Danny Garcia before the fight.|
Amir Khan plans to reconquer the light-welterweight division, with David Haye and Carl Froch among those urging him to reject calls to retire. Khan endured the second knockout of his career when he was stopped in the fourth round in Las Vegas on Saturday night by heavy underdog Danny Garcia.
The brutal nature of the defeat, which saw Khan floored three times in the WBA and WBC light-welterweight unification fight, has clouded his future. The frailty first exposed by Breidis Prescott in 2008 was emphasised by Garcia, confirming the blueprint on how to beat the 25-year-old.
However, Khan today released a statement outlining his determination to reclaim his titles after taking a break to take stock of his position. â€œIâ€™m going to spend the next few weeks relaxing during Ramadan and recharging my batteries after what was a 16-week training camp for me,â€ the statement read. â€œIâ€™ll then sit down with my team to assess the options in front of me. â€œWell done to Danny Garcia on his performance, but I promise Iâ€™ll bounce back stronger than ever as I look to regain my spot at the top of the 140lb division.
â€œMany fighters down the years have bounced back from defeat to prove their greatness and thatâ€™s exactly what I intend to do. â€œIâ€™ve never shirked any challenge or refused to fight anyone in my division even though it would have been easy for me to do so. â€œSome say that attitude is the wrong one to have but Iâ€™ve always wanted to please the fans and be involved in exciting fights.
â€œItâ€™s only right that you get to see the best fighting the best, especially in an age when so many top fighters hand-pick opponents.â€ Khan received strong words of support from his friend Haye, who insisted it would be foolish to write-off the Olympic silver medalist.
Haye, who flattened Dereck Chisora in five rounds at Upton Park on the same night, believes Khan remains a box-office attraction. â€œPeople are writing Amir Khan off, but they do that at their peril,â€ Haye told Radio 5 Live. â€œHeâ€™s been written off in the past when he was knocked out by Breidis Prescott. People said he was finished, that he was chinny and had no heart. But he came back and won world titles. Lennox Lewis was knocked out twice by Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman, should he have given up then? He will still get the big fights, guaranteed, because heâ€™s Amir Khan and puts bums on seats. It was just an off night for him and heâ€™ll make everybody eat their words, just like he did after losing to Prescott.â€
Khan was also drawn into a spat with Froch, the current IBF super-middleweight champion, who appeared to suggest he should hang up his gloves. But Froch, who faces a rematch with Lucian Bute in Montreal early next year, claimed he had been misquoted and backed Khan to prosper once more – if he has to adjust his style. â€œAmir was reacting to a misquote that was put to him. What I actually said was that if that happened to me Iâ€™d retire, but Iâ€™m 35-years-old,â€ Froch said.â€If I was Amir of course Iâ€™d be regrouping. I turned professional at 25, itâ€™s a totally different ball game at that age. At 25 heâ€™s still got some of his best years ahead of him physically.
â€œMentally itâ€™s a tough defeat to get over, but heâ€™s done it before following a devastating knockout by Prescott. He knows heâ€™s got a vulnerability and that his punch resistance isnâ€™t very good, so what he needs to do is adjust his style. He should use his range, fast hands and fitness to move around like he used to do. I donâ€™t know why he seems to get involved in tear-ups.â€