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Amir Khan backs Conor Benn as the UK’s next PPV star… but fears Eddie Hearn is ‘holding him back a bit too much’

AMIR KHAN backed Conor Benn to become the UK’s next pay-per-view star… but fears Eddie Hearn is “holding him back”.

Khan was once lined up to fight Benn but opted for a grudge match with long-time rival Kell Brook instead.

Conor Benn was backed by Amir Khan to become the UK’s next pay-per-view star

Khan has accused Eddie Hearn of holding Conor Benn back

But he went on to lose the bitter bout, almost two decades in the making, and announced his retirement, aged 35, soon after.

Brook, 36, also hung up his gloves meaning two of the country’s biggest box office attractions have walked away.

So Khan has tipped the son of British boxing legend Nigel to lead the next era – but only once promoter Hearn releases the stabilisers.

He said: “In the UK, the next PPV star? I think Conor Benn could make it, definitely.

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“See, I think Eddie’s holding him back a bit too much. He’s calling all out all these big names he wants to fight – myself, Kell Brook. We’re done.

“He needs to go and prove himself like when I went and fought [Marcos] Maidana.

“I went and fought Maidana when no one expected me to win. He needs to do the same.”

Benn, 25, most recently beat South African Chris van Heerden and wanted to fight Brook after.

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But the former IBF welterweight world champion walked away from one final mega-money payday to retire on top.

Khan had the option to rematch Brook but the chapter in their rivalry would slam shut, which cancelled a sequel.

It left the 2004 Olympic silver medalist with nothing else to strive for, making his decision to walk away that much easier.

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Khan said: “We had the rematch with Kell Brook pencilled in.

“Obviously that was contracted, but I’m not going to take a fight when I don’t feel 100 percent.

“It’s me. It’s not that I lost the fight. I’m not going to do it for greed, because I would have got a big pay cheque again.

“I don’t have it in me anymore to fight anyone, not even for that money.

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“Not even if someone offered me a big, huge amount of money. Once you call it a day, you call it a day, man. I want to spend time with my family.

“I’m always one punch away from getting hurt and I don’t want to be that fighter that got hurt from the sport of boxing, so I’m glad I called it a day.”

Amir Khan retired after defeat to Kell Brook

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