AMIR KHAN deserves to remembered fondly when he retires. An Olympic silver medallist at the age of 17. A series of thrilling victories that came before and after crushing defeats. Two world belts claimed from top opposition. That stunning victory over Marcos Maidana. Stationing himself in the USA during his peak and becoming a bona fide attraction. And the kind of courage and determination that would make the countless keyboard warriors run for cover if they were presented with the opportunity to be so pathetically cruel to his face.
When that retirement comes, though, is unknown. And despite rallying from a near-disastrous second round knockdown against the unheralded Samuel Vargas to win a 12-round decision, Khan’s time is surely coming to an end. The speed remains, no question. So too much of the talent which made him one of Britain’s greatest. But the effects of ageing will heighten the mistakes he’s always made. And that wild and uncontrollable machismo is long beyond repair.
In the first round his speed came out to play and the end appeared nigh for Samuel Vargas, seemingly outclassed and unable to keep up. The mismatch so many predicted, including Boxing News, seemed on the money. Then Khan got nailed at the end of round two. His body crumpled [below] just like it crumpled against Breidis Prescott, Danny Garcia and Saul Alvarez. This time the ever-brave Khan, saved by the bell, survived. He deserves credit for going to the mill, for winning a gruelling fight. His matchmaker, too, for not aiming too high.