Boxing fans were quick to bring up Amir Khan’s tweet from 2012 when it was announced that the 30-year-old would appear on ITV show ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’
When asked in 2012 whether he would go on the show, Khan replied: “No it’s for has-beens”.
Khan hasn’t appeared in the ring since his loss to Canelo Alvarez in May 2016.
Indeed, he’s spent the past year towards the front pages of the newspapers rather than the back pages; his name has appeared in the gossip columns due to family matters.
Khan admitted that part of his decision to appear on I’m A Celebrity stemmed from a desire to “get away from the world”.
“I’ve been in boxing for a long time,” he said, per the Metro. “And I’ve got a fight next year but I wanted to give this a go.
“I am most looking forward to getting away from the world and from everything, not having a phone, spending time with myself and getting to know some new people.”
Note how Khan said he has a fight next year, suggesting he remains focussed on returning to boxing following a troubled year.
Billy Joe Saunders: This could be good for Khan's career
WBO middleweight champion has reacted to Khan’s appearance on the reality show by admitting he believes his compatriot wants to start with a clean slate and a boosted profile ahead of his return to the sport.
“This year has been a bad year for him, completely,” Saunders told iFL TV. “People have been saying he could fight X, Y and Z and earn loads of money but it’s been a terrible year for him for other reasons in and out of the ring.
“So if he’s just said, ‘look, let’s get rid of this year, forget about boxing this year, let’s start fresh in 2018 but, let’s get seen again, seen in the jungle.’
“Same as anything, it could be a really, really good thing or it could be a bad thing. He might go and pick another big sponsor up elsewhere off it.”
It fits in partly with Khan’s tweet from 2012. Appearing on a reality TV show will help boost Khan’s profile ahead of his return to boxing next year.
In October, the 31-4 fighter apologised for his inactivity and vowed to return to the top.
“Can’t wait to get back in the ring, where I belong,” Khan wrote on Instagram. “I apologise to all my fans for not being active for a year.
“I want this more than anyone. Time to make my come back, right to the top where I belong.”