His father claims he was a 'born fighter'
Amir Khan, the star of British Asian boxing, has evolved in his career and made his way into professional boxing. We take a look at the earlier days of sportsman before becoming totally pro.
Amir Khan was born on 8th December 1986, is the first son of Shahjaad Khan, his father, who arrived in the UK in the 1970’s from Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Khan’s ancestry is from Janjua Rajput clan of Matore in Rawalpindi, Pakistan who have a history of warrior kings and a strong martial reputation.
Amir Khan was born and raised in Bolton, Lancashire. The area of Greater Manchester in the UK.
He went to Smithills School in Bolton and then to Bolton Community College to do a BTEC in Sports Development and Fitness. Amir’s younger brother, Haroon Khan, is also an amateur boxer and his first cousin is the England fast bowler Sajid Mahmood.
Shahjeed enrolled Amir into the Haliwell Boxing Club, when Amir was around 8 years old. This is further to Amir being a very hyper and reactive in his young age to fights at school and showing signs at that age that he had it in him.
His father claims he was a ‘born fighter’ and wanted Amir to channel his energy into a productive cause. Amir moved from the Haliwell club to the Bury Amateur Boxing club. It was here that he began his coaching by Mick Jelley.
When Amir reached 11 years of age, he moved into competitive boxing. This allowed Amir to focus his energies into something where he began to devote a lot of his time and enthusiasm.
Early wins include three English school titles, three junior ABA titles and gold at the 2003 Junior Olympics. Then, in early 2004 , Amir won a gold medal at the European Student Championships in Lithuania. Several months later in South Korea, he won World Junior Lightweight title after fighting five times in seven days.
Amir Khan’s rise to instant fame was his representation of Great Britain at the 2004 Athens Olympics as the sole boxer. At the age of 17, he won a silver medal in the Lightweight Boxing category. Making him one of Britain’s youngest boxers ever to compete at this level.
Khan lost the final to Cuban, Mario Kindelan, aged thirty-four, who also beat him some months prior to the final in warm up matches. However, Amir Khan beat Kindelan during his last amateur fight, in 2005.
Khan did state that he would pursue a Gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics but decided to turn professional instead. In 2005, he signed a contract Frank Warren, England’s leading boxing promoter.
Khan got known for his quick demise of his opponents. He produced very early knock-downs of his opponents and his confidence rose very quickly. In 2007, he knocked out Steffy Bull in three rounds, Willie Limond after a fierce exchange of punches in the seventh round and Scott Lawton he knocked out in the fourth round.
A significant fight for Amir was when defended his Commonwealth Lightweight Title against Graham Earl on December 8, 2007, on his 21st birthday. It took Khan just 72 seconds to have the fight referee declare Earl in no fit state to continue. Boxing fans reacted to his promoter to give Khan more tougher opponents and more competitive fights.
Amir continues to fight in 2008, beating Australian Gairy St Clair by points and the WBO World Lightweight title eliminator fight against Dane, Martin Kristjansen. Which Khan progressively built up to furious seventh round elimination of the Kristjansen.
Amir’s fan base includes tremendous support from his family. His father, mother, uncles and other relatives are commonly seen at his fights. The show of traditionally dressed women at a boxing fight, greeting him after a fight, highlights the acceptance of Amir’s choice of profession by his family. Making him a role model for other British Asians to follow.
Khan is heading for a world title which is his ambition and with the support and experience of his promoter Frank Warren and coach, Oliver Harrison, it seems it will not be too long before Amir progresses towards his dream.
Amir Khan is 5′ 10″ (1.78m) tall and weighs approx 64Kg. His hero is boxer Muhammad Ali. He is a Muslim by religion and enjoys mum’s cooking. He enjoys other sports such as cricket and football. In 2006, the book publisher Bloomsbury (publisher of Harry Potter books), published Amir’s autobiography called ‘A Boy from Bolton’ for which he was given a publishing deal of £500,000.
Away from the ring, Amir has been banned from driving and fined for motoring offences including speeding in his BMW. It was reported that Khan also came under scrutiny by the radical Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammad, who criticised Amir Khan for wearing shorts embellished with the British flag.
Khan is a strong follower and supporter of his local football club, Bolton Wanderers. He uses the club’s training facilities at the Reebok Stadium for his own training regime.
Check out the gallery of pictures below of Amir Khan.
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