By Akwasi Appiah
On the 10th of January at 12:30pm, 31 year old Amir Khan announced his decision to sign with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. This is positive news for both his career, and the welterweight division. Khan hasn’t boxed since May 2016 and his spectacular KO at the hands of Canelo Alvarez, and he last fought in the UK in 2013. His return will therefore be highly anticipated by the wider boxing community.
Khan himself said
‘I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Matchroom. This decision is not one I’ve taken lightly, as I’m at a hugely important time in my career, but having spoken to Eddie at length, it was clear he and I were on the same page in terms of what I want to be doing and what I still want to achieve.’
Once upon a time, boxers from Britain had to travel to America to make a suitable living. Now, with James Degale, Amir Khan and many others ‘returning home’ we are seeing the U.K. solidify itself as the new home of boxing.
“The plan is to box in April and then again in August or September in preparation for a super fight in winter 2018. The target is to provide him with the biggest fights possible, of course a British mega-fight with Kell Brook is top of that list along with the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman and Errol Spence Jr. I’m excited to get started and looking forward to a huge night of boxing on April 21 in Liverpool.”
Khan hasn’t fought more than twice a year since 2011 and it will be intriguing to see if the 31 year old’s body can hold up to the heavy demands of elite boxing. He has had many injuries in the past few years not to mention the public and messy feud with his wife, family and Anthony Joshua.
Mans like Joshua can have my left overs!
— Amir Khan (@amirkingkhan) August 4, 2017
But Khan is in a new place now. Returning from his performance in ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’, he has a new lease of life and popularity. He made the public laugh with ‘Strawberry Gate’ and his ‘ladish’ behaviour. However, this is all well and good, but the key question is, can he still fight? Can he still mix it with the big boys of the division?
Khan’s return brings back many possible fights, but none more anticipated than a fight with Sheffield’s Kell Brook. The boxing community has called for the fight for years. Both are now former world champions. Both have tried and failed to step up to middleweight and both are looking to regain their titles; the scene could not be better set for a 2018 rumble.
Akwasi Appiah is a 3rd year Economics student at Queen Mary University. He has a strong passion for talent development and music. He has his own blog ‘akwasiappiah.com’ and has written for discussion outlets such as @OGGM_ and @DesiringGod.