Amir Khan is one of Britain’s most successful boxers. He has gained a formidable reputation in recent years, having achieved the rare honour of never having lost a single fight to date. These wins include the Commonwealth Lightweight title.
At the 2004 Athens Olympics, Khan took the silver medal in the lightweight category. As a result of his record, Amir Khan has consistently occupied one of the top five slots in international boxing rankings. The World Boxing Organization (WBO) currently ranks him at number four. He holds the number six spot in rankings produced by the influential American boxing digest, Ring Magazine.
Amir Khan was born in Bolton on December 8th, 1986. Khan’s family encouraged his interest in sports from an early age. In an interview his father described him as a “born fighter.” As a youngster, he trained using facilities provided by the Bolton Wanderers Football Club.
His family includes a number of prominent British sportsmen of Pakistani origin. These include the fast bowler Sajid Mahmood, who has played cricket for England at international level and for Lancashire at county level. Khan’s brother, Haroon Khan, is an amateur boxer.
Amir Khan won his first fight aged 11. During his time at school he won a number of amateur titles, including three English schools titles and a boxing gold medal at the 2003 Junior Olympics, thereby demonstrating his skill at international level.
Amir Khan is yet to lose a professional fight. Here’s the low-down on his wins to date.
|Baz Carey||1 (4)||July 16, 2005|
|Steve Gethin||4 (4)||September 10, 2005|
|Daniel Thorpe||3 (4)||November 5, 2005|
|David Bailey||2 (4)||December, 10, 2005|
|Vitali Martynov||1 (6)||January 28, 2006|
|"Action" Jackson Williams||3 (6)||February 25, 2006|
|Laszlo Komjathi||6 (6)||May 20, 2006|
|Colin Bain||2 (6)||July 8, 2006|
|Ryan Barrett||1 (6)||September 2, 2006|
|Rachin Drilzane||10 (10)||December 9, 2006|
|Mohammed Medjadi||1 (8)||February 17, 2007|
|Steffy Bull||3 (8)||April 7, 2007|
|Willie Limond||8 (12)||July 14, 2007|
|Scott Lawton||4 (12)||October 6, 2007|
|Graham Earl||1 (12)||December 8, 2007|
|Gairy St. Clair||12 (12)||February 2, 2008|
Of Khan’s wins listed above, a number were particularly impressive. In July 2007, Khan was knocked down during a fight against Willie Limond. Despite appearing to be badly injured, he retaliated and went on to knock Limond out in the seventh round.
The barrage of punches that Limond threw his way did not appear to have deterred him at all. Indeed it was Limond who appeared to have come off worse in the encounter - he suffered a damaged eardrum and sustained moderately serious injuries to his right eye.
Another prolific win came against Graham Earl. This win was particularly special for Amir Khan as it coincided with the boxer’s 21st birthday. Earl was easily the toughest opponent Khan faced at that point in his career.
He held the British Number One possession and was known for his ruthlessness in the ring. The situation was worsened by the fact that considerable animosity already existed between the two boxers. However, within 72 seconds, Khan had defeated his opponent. Earl was declared in ‘no fit state to continue.’ Khan later described his win as one of the greatest moments of his career.
Khan’s wins against Willie Limond, Scott Lawton, Graham Earl and Gairy St. Clair allowed him to win and retain the Commonwealth Lightweight title.
Amir Khan also holds a 2004 Olympic silver medal within the lightweight category. His Olympic round results may be found below, together with the names and nationalities of his opponents.
- Round of 32: Beat Marios Kaperonis of Greece
- Round of 16: Beat Dimitar Stilianov of Bulgaria
- Quarter Finals: Beat Jong Sub Baik of South Korea
- Semi Finals: Beat Serik Yeleuov of Kazakhstan
- Gold Medal Match: Lost to Mario Kindelan of Cuba
However, he will not be defending his position during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Unlike many boxers, Amir Khan’s career is not littered with any major controversies. However, he has been found guilty of committing a number of motoring offences in recent years. The most serious of these involved Khan speeding, driving through a red light and hitting a pedestrian in the process.
For this, he was given a six-month driving ban and fined a sum of ₤1,000. The pedestrian suffered a broken leg as a result of the incident. Khan was fined another ₤1,000 in January 2008 for speeding offences committed on the M62 motorway. He was banned for 42 days.
As a British Pakistani, Amir Khan has used his influence within boxing to reach out to other members of his local Muslim community. In the aftermath of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake in Pakistan, he spearheaded local charity initiatives and visited Pakistan to help with the aid effort.
During the summer of 2006, Khan was also involved with the No Messin campaign which was aimed at promoting the safety of children around Britain’s railways. Khan also participated in a Channel 4 documentary entitled ‘Amir Khan’s Angry Young Men’.
The show focused on the problems faced by disillusioned youth. Airing in the form of three 50-minute episodes, Khan explained how the discipline involved in sport, coupled with the ideas of respect and responsibility could help troubled youngsters restructure their lives.
Given Khan’s many successes thus far and his current physical fitness, it is likely that his winning run will continue for some time to come. His strong work ethic and self-discipline will prove particularly important if he is to do so.
If you’d like to learn more about the life and career of Amir Khan, a good starting point would be Amir Khan’s autobiography.