British boxer Amir Khan suggested that he is considering retirement from the sport after suffering a comprehensive defeat with a sixth-round technical knockout at the hands of Kell Brook on Saturday.
The 35-year-old Khan was outclassed 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.
Brook 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, he grasped it with both hands in the 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 his fellow countryman claimed the bragging rights.
He 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."
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said he was looking forward to Khan's win but said it was "nonetheless a great fight". He wished the athlete best of luck for next time.