WEB DESK: Boxer Amir Khan recounted his initial challenges that came after becoming the youngest British Olympic medalist. He talked about discrimination against minorities in the UK, how the British society needs to let go of the “fear”, and how he wants “boxing to miss Amir Khan” once he retires.
In an interview with Aljazeera, he explained how boxing has changed him as a person. “I think being put in that position at the age of 17 – becoming a high-profile athlete – everyone knew who Amir Khan was. It kind of made me mature a lot quicker than a normal 17-year-old would.”
“That’s why sometimes I say that I miss my youth because when all my friends were going out partying or when they were going on school trips or holidays, I was in the gym training.”
Earlier in August, Khan made headlines by visiting Pakistan. He announced his plan to open a boxing academy in Pakistan. He even visited Lyari which made Karachiites love him more. Although he was escorted by the Rangers to the area, his arrival in Lyari was hailed as the ‘return of a king’.
Talking about his future ambitions, he has a novel touch to it.
“Look at what I’ve done and achieved in the sport and on the global stage: representing my country even though I’m of Asian origin.’ I’m still representing Britain; I’m still winning titles for Britain even though my family’s from Pakistan. It’s all about going out there and achieving what I want to achieve.
That’s the message I give to all kids: If you have goals in life, go and achieve them. I’m a role model for Muslims. I’m a Muslim, but people don’t see me as a terrorist, and I want kids to follow in my footsteps.”
He is a philanthropist at heart, he not only wants to contribute to the boxing game, he wants to do it to add value to society and in order to achieve this Khan is ready to open five boxing academies in Pakistan.
“I want to promote boxing in many places, especially where it’s not too big right now. I’m thinking of opening an academy here in Doha; Dubai has asked me for it, as well. I’m going to build five academies in Pakistan.
I’ve done the same thing in the UK: I have my own gym and facilities and have up to 200 kids coming in a week. That’s 200 kids off the streets and 200 kids not getting into trouble. They burn their energy in a positive manner. This not only keeps you off the streets but also keeps you fit and teaches you discipline. And you get women [working out] in there, as well.”
He wants to leave a legacy behind and be ‘remembered as one of the fighters who was never scared of going into the ring with anyone, who was never afraid to fight anyone, one of the toughest, fastest and most exciting fighters in the world’
Source: Al Jazeera