Despite having his critics, Amir ‘King’ Khan is arguably one of Britain’s most exciting and successful boxers of his generation.
From his thrilling battles with Michael Gomez and Marcos Maidana to seizing Zab Judah’s IBF title to become a unified world light-welterweight champion, he has excited fight fans the world over.
With many followers eager to know the welterweight’s next move, most craving the overdue all-domestic clash with Kell Brook over the long-awaited world title fight with Manny Pacquiao, BBN decided to dig up some interesting facts about the Bolton boxer:
1 The early years
Born on December 9 1986 to father Shah and mother Falak, who originally hail from Rawalpindi in Pakistan, he began to box competitively at the age of 11, winning three English school titles, three junior ABA titles, gold at the 2003 Junior Olympics, gold at the 2004 European Student Championships in Lithuania, and a world junior lightweight title in South Korea after fighting five times in seven days. Despite losing three of his first six bouts, he compiled an incredible amateur record of 101–9, a pivotal move to Bury ABC accredited for the glittering success.
2 Talent runs in his family
His younger brother Haroon is an unbeaten professional boxer with three knockouts from seven victories and his cousin Sajid Mahmood right-arm fast-medium bowler who played international cricket for England and county cricket for Lancashire and Essex.
3 A vicious victory
He defeated future WBC world welterweight champion ‘Vicious’ Victor Ortiz in the amateurs via a second-round stoppage victory.
4 Star in the making
It was the Athens 2004 Olympics where he became a star by reaching the finals of the lightweight category against Mario Kindelan, who scooped up his second gold medal when he beat Khan 30-22, who had to settle for silver, but became Team GB’s youngest ever boxing medallist at 17 and made his name overnight.
5 Entrepreneur in the making
Amir Khan is the co-owner of Super Fight League, an Indian MMA promotion, and also co-owns the Super Boxing League, another Indian sports promotion set up to popularise professional boxing in India. He is so popular there that he has his own brand of soft drink, which comes in the most popular flavour of watermelon. The business tycoon also has a boxing academy based in Islamabad, Pakistan and his aim is to provide a place for Pakistani boxers to train and become professional fighters.
6 Addicted to TV
A serial reality TV star, he was most recently seen as a contestant on the 17th series of ITV’s ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!’ and became the highest-paid participant in the history of the show. Khan has appeared on the celebrity versions of a number of gameshows, including Beat the Star, Countdown and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
7 First class honours
In 2015, Khan received an honorary degree from his hometown University of Bolton for his contributions to both sport and charity, for his sporting achievements and his work with The Amir Khan Foundation, which campaigns in the UK and abroad to help communities in need from providing shelter to the homeless to supplying clean water in third world countries. The kind-hearted boxer has also worked with Oxfam, NSPCC, Childline, National Rail's ‘No Messin’ and many others.
8 Dodgy driving
In October 2007, Khan was convicted of careless driving, given a six-month driving ban and a £1k fine after his car hit and broke the leg of a pedestrian who was using a pelican crossing while Khan was travelling at 47mph in a 30mph zone. The victim died two years later, his widow claiming that he was a ‘broken man’ after the accident, driven to drink and depression. In January 2008, Khan was fined £1000 and banned for 42 days for a speeding offence where he was reportedly driving at 140mph on a motorway.
9 Dazzling debuts
His professional boxing debut in drew an audience of over 4million views when he defeated David Bailey in less than two minutes at the Bolton Arena. He raced to 8-0 within his debut year in the paid ranks, under the guidance of Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren, and viewing figures for his fights reached over to 6million. On the subject of debuts, Khan’s first appearance on Sky Sports was a totally different story as he was knocked out in 54 seconds by big-punching Colombian Breidis Prescott in one of the biggest boxing upsets of the year in 2008.
10 Divisional kingpin
During his 13-year career, Khan has fought in four different divisions – lightweight, light-welterweight, welterweight and middleweight
11 Record breakers
Khan became Britain’s third youngest world champion boxer in history when he captured the WBA light-welterweight title from Andriy Kotelnik at Manchester’s MEN Arena in July 2009. Only Naseem Hamed and Herbie Hide were younger.
12 Trophy haul
Now aged 34, he has a trophy cabinet packed full with eight major titles: Commonwealth lightweight title; WBO Inter-Continental lightweight title; WBA International lightweight title; WBA World super-lightweight title; IBF World super-lightweight title; WBC Silver super-lightweight title; WBA International welterweight title; WBC Silver welterweight title.
13 Changing of the guard
Khan changes his team like he changes his socks. Now paired up with legendary trainer Dan Goosen, in his time Khan has been through a number of coaches, including long-time coach Oliver Harrison; the late Dean Powell; Jorge Rubio; Freddie Roach; and Virgil Hunter. He also left Frank Warren for Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and is currently signed to a three-fight deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing.