British boxer Amir Khan says he is considering retirement from the sport after suffering a comprehensive defeat with a sixth-round TKO at the hands of Kell Brook.
The 35-year-old Khan was outclassed in Saturday’s fight by compatriot Brook from start to finish and looked to be in dire straits before the referee stepped in to save him from any more punishment.
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Brook, also 35, had courted a showdown against an opponent he has come to despise for several years only to be constantly rebuffed, but after being given an opportunity here he grasped it with both hands in this 149-pound catchweight bout at Manchester’s AO Arena.
Brook shrugged off being vociferously jeered to the ring by a crowd largely in support of Bolton-born and raised Khan and repeatedly left his foe on rubbery legs with countless punishing shots to the head.
Khan refused to buckle and stayed upright throughout but he absorbed some vicious blows and his face was heavily marked when referee Victor Loughlin stepped in to wave off the fight 51 seconds into the sixth round.
Khan, fighting at the venue where he first won a world title in 2009, only showed flashes of the form that saw him become a unified light-welterweight champion more than a decade ago as Brook claimed the bragging rights.
Khan, who won silver as a lightweight at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and is a former unified light-welterweight champion, said he was hoping to spend more time with his family.
“It’s something to think about, definitely,” Khan told reporters when he was asked about a potential retirement. “I’ve always said I never want boxing to retire me, I want to retire from boxing.
“Punishment like that sometimes in boxing, I know I showed a big heart and took some big shots today, but sometimes too much of that can be harmful in the future.
“I’ve done more than I ever expected. Maybe I peaked too early, I was at the Olympics at 17, I won the world title at 22. I’m 35 now, I’ve been in the game a very long time, I’m an old man. I want to spend time with my kids and my family.”
Brook also suggested he might retire at the post-fight press conference.
“I’ve always wanted to have this fight with Amir. I think this grudge match and this is the icing on the cake for me. I can live at peace with myself, with my career,” he said.
“I’ve tried my best, I’ve tried to do everything. You know, do I want to carry on? You know, I feel like a 23-year-old today. I will sit down with my dad and my mum and my immediate family to see if we want to carry on.”