Amir Khan's biggest fight to date ended in the manner many of us had expected, in a knockout. The Bolton-born fighter enjoyed a spirited start to Saturday's showdown against Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in Las Vegas, showcasing his superior hand speed against a much bigger opponent and taking a couple of the early rounds before he was dispatched to the canvas in the sixth.
Despite the loss, Khan emerges with his reputation intact. The 29-year-old has been widely praised for accepting a fight against the man regarded as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet. He also stepped up two weight divisions to challenge Canelo at the 155-pound catchweight, having previously fought above 140 pounds just four times in his career. Despite bulking up, the size and power of Canelo was always going to be a tall order for Khan and the fight confirmed middleweight had been a step too far. He admitted post-fight a return to welterweight would beckon.
There, the Briton has a number of options. IBTimes UK considers what is next for Khan.
Khan is still the mandatory challenger for Garcia's WBC welterweight championship, a belt vacated by Floyd Mayweather last year and claimed by the Philadelphian after a bruising win over Robert Guerrero in January. Garcia memorably knocked out Khan when the two met in July 2012. The fight followed a slightly similar trajectory to Sunday's, with Khan impressing in the opening rounds before he was brutally stopped in the fourth. In January, Garcia's camp insisted they were not interested in the Khan rematch. But the 28-year-old is already in Khan's thoughts, with his adviser Al Haymon urging him to pursue the Garcia rematch over all other options.
No sooner had Khan hit the mat following the vicious right hook from Canelo, before Brook reached for his phone to tweet a message for his long-term adversary.
Brook and Khan have been avoiding a showdown for years with the former's promoter Eddie Hearn eager to finalise a huge all-British payday between the pair for Brook's IBF title. Since taking the belt from Shawn Porter in 2013, Brook's title defences have been against decidedly average opposition; a fight against Khan would make sense. It would also be one of the biggest grossing domestic fights in history, not to mention it would give Khan the chance to settle a feud that has been rumbling in the background for years.
A name dropped by Khan in the aftermath of the Canelo defeat has been Cotto. The Puerto Rican boxing legend also lost to Canelo in his last fight, but would remain one of the most lucrative options for Khan. Cotto's last two fights have been as a middleweight, meaning the Briton would once again be up against a bigger and more powerful opponent.
Could Pacquiao be tempted into one more fight? The octuple-weight world champion beat Timothy Bradley in April in what he insisted was his final fight. Pacquiao, who has been a congressman since 2010, is now hoping to win one of 12 seats in the upper chamber as a United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) party senator. Trainer Freddie Roach and promoter Bob Arum were sceptical about those retirement plans, however, and it would appear Khan is too, name-dropping the Filipino on Sunday morning. Talks between Khan and Pacquaio camps have been on and off for the past couple of years, but an agreement for the two former sparring partners to square off has never materialised. It seems it would take something very special to tempt the 37-year-old back, but stranger things have happened in boxing.