Khan ready to take Saudi cash to fight Mayweather or Pacquiao

Amir Khan would consider returning from retirement to fight Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao.

The 37 year old retired after being stopped in February 2022 by Kell Brook, after which he tested positive for the banned substance ostarine and was banned for two years from that April. 

For all of his satisfaction at his fine career he regardless remains interested in fights – or exhibitions – with the two finest fighters of the modern era, aware that in 2017 he believed that a fight with Pacquiao, who for years he trained alongside at the Wild Card gym, had been agreed.

There was also a time when towards the conclusion of Mayweather’s career Khan, then in his prime, appeared more capable of giving the undefeated American a significant test. Fights with either would also have proved his most lucrative of all.

“I’ve been offered amazing deals in Saudi Arabia; Dubai; Abu Dhabi, for a big fight there,” Khan said. “But if I ever did do that, I’m going to have a spar with 10oz gloves; see how I feel and how I take a shot and if I still have it in me – if my body’s still in shape. 

“I don’t know if I can still do it. It has to be a fight that motivates me so much that I would jump to the occasion. What would motivate me is a [Floyd] Mayweather; Manny Pacquiao; Conor McGregor, or Khabib [Nurmagomedov]. At the moment it’d have to be an exhibition, because obviously I’m a banned fighter. When my ban comes off, after that it could be an actual fight. Let’s see.”

Khan struggled for motivation when he fought Brook, despite Brook representing his greatest, and longest-term, rival.

“Normally I’m being pushed, and I push myself even harder,” he said of his fight preparations in America under his then-trainer Brian “Bomac” McIntyre. “I was pushing myself hard because I wanted to keep Bomac happy, but mid-camp, when I got injuries and stuff – and my shoulder went before the fight, a small tear; I didn’t tell no one; whenever I was throwing my right hand I had problems; it was hurting me – I knew then my body was breaking down. ‘I don’t love the sport anymore – I’m going to call it a day.’

“You know what? [Losing to Brook didn’t bother me.] It didn’t, really. Honestly speaking. You know when you lose love for something? The week of that fight, and around that time, I’d lost love for boxing. I didn’t really care, or anything, about the fight. ‘It is what it is.’ There is no regret there, because I didn’t want to be around boxing. 

“I remember, the last thing I ever did, when I walked out towards the ring – I looked at a clock. ‘In two hours this fight will be over and I’ll never need to look at boxing again.’ It was a big burden on me. I don’t know if the burden was because everyone wanted me to fight Kell Brook all the time and that name was always there. 

“That made me feel like, ‘You have to take this fight’ – maybe I could have retired taking an easier fight. But there was something there – I was glad. ‘After this fight I’m gonna be happy.’ It’s the wrong way of thinking about it, because I’ve never thought like this before where I’m looking at a clock thinking, ‘I want it to be over – in two hours’ time I’ll be in my bed'. That makes me think I was already half way out the sport. I’d checked out.”