By Barry Holbrook: Amir Khan says he couldn’t get going tonight in his sixth round TKO loss to Kell Brook at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Khan was pulled out of the fight by the referee in the sixth after he’d been repeatedly hit with clean shots from Brook while fighting off the ropes.
After the fight, Khan, 35, said he thinks it might be a good time for him to call it a day after 40 fights as a professional.
Khan should have had a tune-up
In hindsight, it was a mistake on Khan’s part to come off a massive layoff to fight a power puncher like Brook. Although Brook had been out of the ring for a long time as well, he’s a guy with tremendous power.
Those fighters are less affected by long layoffs than boxers that depend on their speed and mobility, like Khan.
Fighting for the first time in almost three years, Khan (34-6, 21 KOs) didn’t look nearly as sharp as he had in his previous fight against Billy Dib in July 2019.
Khan’s speed, mobility, and reflexes weren’t there tonight, and Brook took advantage of it fully. If Khan is going to continue his career, he’s going to need to come back slowly the way smart fighters do after long layoffs.
The way Khan rushed back against a dangerous fighter after nearly 3 years out of the ring, was similar to Ricky Hatton with him coming back after a three-year layoff in 2012 to face top 10 welterweight Vyacheslav Senchenko.
Not surprisingly, the ring-rusty Hatton was stopped. If Hatton had taken three to five tune-ups before facing Senchenko, he likely would have beaten him.
In Khan’s case, he’d been better off if he’d slowly come back with a half dozen tune-up fights before facing Brook, but one gets the sense this was just about money for him.
In other words, it was a cash-out for Khanso there was never going to be a situation where he would have taken a series of tune-ups first before fighting Brook.
Amir couldn’t get going
“I’m really upset. I did all the training in camp that I had to do over in Colorado and in Omaha, Nebraska,” said Khan to Sky Sports Boxing following his loss to Kell Brook.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) February 19, 2022
“I just couldn’t get it going. I was falling short. Look, no disrespect to Kell Brook. I thought he put on a great performance,” continued Khan. “He did everything he needed to do in the fight.”
Brook was there to be hit tonight with the way he was walking forward, throwing home run shots. Khan didn’t have the power, chin, or the accuracy to take advantage of Brook’s wide-open defense tonight.
If Brook had been in there with a better fighter tonight, it would have ended badly for him, as he was walking Khan down without thinking about his defense.
Occasionally, Khan hit Brook with his snapping shots when he was coming forward, but not often enough to make him optimistic as he’d been against his conquerors Errol Spence Jr., Terence Crawford, and Gennady Golovkin.
“He put on a great performance, and obviously he was the best man tonight. I just couldn’t get going, really. I was catching Kell with some good shots. He was falling a little bit short on a few things.
“I’m not blaming anyone. I had a great training camp with Bomac, Terence Crawford, and everyone. I just couldn’t get going. I was falling short and missing quite a lot.
“Kell was on his A-game today. He boxed really well. A lot of respect goes out to him. I want to say a big thanks to all the fans that came out here today. When I heard my name with the cheering, I just want to say a big thank you,” Khan said.
Amir to talk it over with family
“I also want to apologize that it obviously didn’t go our way today,” said Khan. “40 fights, it’s a lot of fights, winning two world titles. I need to sit down with my family, but it is towards the end of my career here.
“Obviously, the love for the sport is not there anymore like it was before. When I was in the ring, I used to have that excitement and that push. I just didn’t have it in me. I felt quite flat.
“I think that’s a sign for me that I should be calling it a day maybe, but let’s see. I’m going to go back and watch the video. Kell obviously came trained, and he looked really, really good today, and he was ready.
“It’s very hard to beat a guy who wants to win. I had a great training camp as well, but he must have done that much better than me. So let’s see where we go from here,” said Khan.