Amir Khan has admitted it would take a fight against either Floyd Mayweather Jr or Manny Pacquiao to motivate him to make a ring return.

The former light-welterweight world champion has had 39 bouts in a professional career which began in 2005, the last of them being a stoppage win over Billy Dib in July 2019.

While he has faced pound-for-pound candidates Saul Alvarez and Terence Crawford in recent years, Khan has made no secret of his desire to go up against both Mayweather and Pacquiao before retiring, two legendary names he has chased in the past without success.

At 33, he has still not given up hope of securing a deal to take on one of the duo, though they are seemingly the only opponents that could lead to him heading back into the gym.

"I've almost had 40 fights now, so I'm just going to take my time and see what options are out there for me," Khan told Sky Sports.

"If the Pacquiao option is there, 100 per cent that is the motivation for me to go back in the gym and train hard. 

"It's very hard to have those fights now that motivate you. I'm in a very good position where I've won the world titles and financially I'm good.

"What's left out there for me? The only thing, for me, is a big fight like a Mayweather or a Manny Pacquiao.

"Who knows [if such fights will happen]? That's up to them."

Khan's comments appear to rule out a long-rumoured showdown with Kell Brook, who said himself in April that he had "given that angle up" and moved on.

Former welterweight world champion Amir Khan does not know if he will box again.

Khan has twice earned world titles in the 147lbs division and won an Olympics silver medal at Athens 2004 when in the amateur ranks.

The 33-year-old last fought in July 2019 when he defeated Billy Dib in Saudi Arabia, a bout which followed a bizarre TKO defeat to Terence Crawford when he was unable to continue after being caught with an accidental low blow.

It remains to be seen if Khan will step back into the ring, though he said his love for the sport remains.

Speaking to Mirror Sport, he said: "Am I going to fight again? I don't know, I'm in two minds. Should I fight?

"Financially, I've done very well for myself. Do I need to do one more fight which could ruin my whole legacy? I don’t know the answer.

"I'm up against myself. I'm debating with myself should I carry on or call it a day?

"I'm just going to wait and see how I feel after a full training camp. Even if I feel I cannot do it anymore, I can walk away knowing I have done everything.

"My love for boxing is still there and I love boxing to bits. But until I see how I feel after a long, hard, gruelling camp, then I won’t know for sure."

Last year, Khan said that an agreement to fight Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao, a bout he has long-since sought, was reached but a showdown did not come to fruition.

Khan (34-5) added he only wants to get in the ring for the big names.

"I want to be at the top level where I've always fought. That's where I belong and that's how I want people to remember me," he said.

"Win or lose, I've always fought at that top level. I'm only interested in fighting at that level.

"You can make mistakes when you try to carry on for too long and don't call it a day. I'll know myself when it's time to stop."

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