Boxer Amir Khan slams Kell Brook in Dubai
The former world unified light-welterweight world champion Amir Khan is a pretty down to earth guy. Casually sipping a cappuccino, in a grey sweater, jeans and a blingy Franck Muller watch, Khan is in Dubai, where he says he is pondering life after he retires from boxing.
“Realistically, I have about three fights at the most in me,” he says when asked about his retirement plans.
“Within two years I’ll call it a day. I can’t believe I’m already at 37 fights, it has honestly gone so quick. I always said I’d retire when I had done 30 fights."
At 32, Khan is not a young man anymore and is older than most of the boxers on the circuit. However, he says that “he’s never felt better.”
“I honestly feel better than I did at 24-25. I always said I’d retire at 28 but I’m way more focused now than I was then. When I was 28, one of the reasons I carried on was because I had a hand injury and I was off for two years and I felt fresher once I returned,” he says to Esquire Middle East.
Amir Khan on fighting Kell Brook
With Khan in town, there's only one question we wanted to ask, one that has the sporting world abuzz. Is he going to fight Kell Brook?
“Brook is doing this all the wrong way, man. If you really want to fight someone why would you talk smack about them in the media or talk them down? Instead of promoting the fight, he’s killing the fight,” according to Khan.
“I’m not one of them guys to talk back about my opponent. I want to be the classy one in this situation. If I talk shit back, then it just becomes a wrestling match. I want to let my fists to the talking.”
Khan, however, is quite adamant that Brook is not the only option out there.
“There an amazing fighter over in America with Terence Crawford, who is an amazing fighter. He’s pound-for-pound best out there right now. He’s bringing a world title to the table. I mean Kell Brook is only bringing himself to the table.”
Should fans completely write off a big domestic clash?
“Who’s to say he won’t be here next year?”
Still no clarity whether he will or won’t fight Kell Brook. But the writings not on the wall just yet.
Amir Khan's next fight: Manny Pacquiao?
Out of his three fights left in his career, Khan’s dream fight, right here in Dubai, would be Filipino boxing star and now politician Manny Pacquiao.
“I want to fight Manny Pacquiao in Dubai but nobody will organise it,” Khan ruefully says.
“Dubai needs a big fight which will be good for them. The South Asians, Indians and Pakistanis then you have the Filipinos who make up most of Dubai’s expat population. I mean that would be a big fight. It would be a unifying one for the South Asians too. They have such a big community here, and I’m sure that would be well received.”
Khan’s not entirely wrong. The three communities make up the most significant chunk of expats living in the UAE.
“Having two big names in the world, both having big communities in the UAE, I mean they [UAE] keep talking about hosting a boxing match. I’m ready, but are they?”
According to Khan, they have been “a lot” of meetings already trying to arrange a fight here, but so far nothing has materialised.
“We need to sit down with the right people I guess. Because is this going to happen or not? Is it ever going to happen? At the moment, everyone I speak to asks about Dubai, but I don’t have an answer for them because I don’t want to say that no, it won’t.”
Considering that Khan’s retirement is scheduled to take place in the next two years, we for one hope, with bated breath, the outcome of a possible Khan-Pacquiao fight in Dubai.
As Khan says, the ball is now officially in Dubai’s court.
Esquire Middle East talked to Amir Khan who was in Dubai to promote his new title as brand ambassador for Berkeley Assets, a private equity company which is now working on a range of new business opportunities.