Boxing: Amir Khan plans return to top after defeat to Danny Garcia

 

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.

"I'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," the statement read.

"I'll then sit down with my team to assess the options in front of me.

"Well done to Danny Garcia on his performance, but I promise I'll bounce back stronger than ever as I look to regain my spot at the top of the 140lb division.

"Many fighters down the years have bounced back from defeat to prove their greatness and that's exactly what I intend to do.

"I'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.

"Some say that attitude is the wrong one to have but I've always wanted to please the fans and be involved in exciting fights.

"It'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."

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.

"People are writing Amir Khan off, but they do that at their peril," Haye told Radio 5 Live.

"He'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 he's Amir Khan and puts bums on seats.

"It was just an off night for him and he'll make everybody eat their words, just like he did after losing to Prescott."

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.

"Amir was reacting to a misquote that was put to him. What I actually said was that if that happened to me I'd retire, but I'm 35-years-old," Froch said.

"If I was Amir of course I'd be regrouping. I turned professional at 25, it's a totally different ball game at that age.

"At 25 he's still got some of his best years ahead of him physically.

"Mentally it's a tough defeat to get over, but he's done it before following a devastating knockout by Prescott.

"He knows he's got a vulnerability and that his punch resistance isn'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 don't know why he seems to get involved in tear-ups."

PA

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