Amir Khan recently announced his retirement after an exhilarating 40-fight career in professional boxing, but he is still shunned by many sports fans.
‘King’ is one of the greatest legends in British boxing history and should be remembered as such now that he has officially hung up his gloves.
Khan secured his place in British boxing history at just 17 years old.
A teenage Khan traveled to Athens, Greece as the sole representative of British boxing and won a silver medal.
It was a shock success that saved the sport in the UK, as funding for Olympic boxing was to be cut if Khan had failed to medal in 2004.
Since then we have seen a boom in British boxing with several British fighters winning gold, silver and bronze at subsequent Olympics which Khan helped fund.
Khan leaves boxing with a sensational career to look back on and several prestigious titles to remind him of his significant accomplishments in the sport.
The Bolton native picked up the Commonwealth belt on his rise before winning the WBA light welterweight title to become one of the youngest world champions in British boxing history.
Later, Khan won the IBF light welterweight title to unify the division in what was retrospectively the most significant moment of his storied career.
Less than a year after being wiped out in a minute by Breidis Prescott, Khan easily edged out Andreas Kotelnik in the same arena to become world champion at just 22 years old.
At this point, Khan was on his way to becoming a global superstar and he began traveling America for the biggest and best fights, solidifying himself among the best boxers in the world.
The 35-year-old scored big wins on the road beating Paulie Malignaggi and Marcos Maidana before stopping Zab Judah in five rounds to claim his second world light welterweight title.
Consecutive losses followed, and Khan’s peak was probably over by this point, but the Englishman was still able to carve out a decent career at welterweight.
A five-game winning streak that included decisive victories over Luis Collazo, Devon Alexander and Chris Algieri earned Khan boxing’s biggest fight of 2016.
He made the crazy decision to move up to middleweight to face the number one pound-for-pound boxer on the planet, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Despite what many considered a walk, Khan played admirably for six rounds but couldn’t hold off the fearsome Mexican and became part of Canelo’s flagship KO reel.
After landing the biggest payday of his career, Khan spent two years away from the sport and was never the same when he returned in 2018.
The now former world champion picked up back-to-back victories over lower level opponents before trying his luck against Terence Crawford, who had established himself among the P4P elite.
Unlike the ‘Canelo’ fight, Khan was unable to compete and was beaten uncharacteristically in earlier rounds before a low blow in the sixth round led trainer Virgil Hunter to throw in the towel. Khan faced abandonment charges after the fight.
In February, clearly past, Khan gave fans the fight they were crying out for when he squared off against Kell Brook.
‘Special’ dominated from the first bell, but to his credit Khan took all the hits and fought on, putting to bed any suggestion he was a quitter when he came to a stop on his feet in the sixth round.
Khan is stepping away from boxing as a British legend.
At just 17, he secured his legacy by winning Olympic silver and securing funding for future Olympic boxers, who have achieved so much in the sport.
Despite his flaws, Khan became a unified world champion in one of boxing’s most stacked divisions, taking on all comers and setting up epic win-or-lose fights.
Critics will say he’s chinny, unlikable and has spent years dodging Brook, but it’s time to realize how much Khan has contributed to British boxing and what a legend the sport is losing.
Khan is a fighter who traveled the world carrying the British flag, jumped several weight divisions to challenge top fighters, and ultimately gave fans Brook’s fight despite the fact he shouldn’t have been nowhere near a boxing ring in 2022.
Hopefully, now that he is about to leave the sport, Khan can get his credit with boxing fans, the media and Her Majesty, who has yet to honor Khan despite his long list of contributions to the boxing and Great Britain.