THE next time Amir Khan will appear on our television screens will not be in a competitive boxing match (or even an uncompetitive boxing match) but on British reality show ‘I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here.’
Aside from the obvious motivation – this appearance will no doubt be well remunerated – it’s baffling in terms of Khan’s future boxing career.
Khan has not fought since May 2016, when Canelo Alvarez knocked him cold in Las Vegas. He needed a long time out of boxing then. But now he will be out, surely, for too long. Despite having said he’d be back in December, it is clear he will not fight again before the year is out. A tune up will surely be needed, which means he wouldn’t have a meaningful fight, at best, until late 2018. It’s even more unclear what meaningful fights he will be able to get as the welterweight division moves on merrily without him. Considering that having his private life aired publicly has been of no discernible benefit to him, it’s even more confusing as to why Khan would choose to go on a reality television series.
Boxers have appeared on ‘I’m A Celebrity’ before. Chris Eubank and Joe Bugner for instance. David Haye actually came across well. But he was spending years out of the sport as he required an operation to rebuild his shoulder. Khan is not retired or otherwise out of action. In fact he has taken a decision to go on this programme, just when he should be getting his boxing career back on track.