Amir Khan WBA and IBF light welterweight World champion SIGNED after fight victory celebration 8" x 12" photo.
Amir Iqbal Janjua Khan (Punjabi/Urdu: born 8 December 1986) from Bolton, Greater Manchester, England. He is the current WBA World light welterweight champion. Khan won the belt at the age of 22, making him Britain's third-youngest World champion after Naseem Hamed and Herbie Hide.
He was previously in the lightweight division, where he held the Commonwealth, WBO Inter-Continental and WBA International titles. He also became the youngest British Olympic boxing medallist when he won silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics at the age of 17. He is commonly known by the nickname "King Khan".
Khan was born and raised in Bolton, England. Khan is Muslim. His grandparents migrated from the village of Matore within the region of Rawalpindi in the Punjab province of Pakistan to England in the 1950s. Khan belongs to the legendary warrior race of the Punjabi Janjua Rajputs. Khan speaks fluent English, Urdu and Punjabi. He was educated at Smithills School in Bolton, and Bolton Community College. Khan has two sisters and one brother, Haroon Khan, who is an amateur boxer. Also, his first cousin is the English cricketer Sajid Mahmood. As well as boxing, Khan enjoys playing sports such as football, basketball and cricket. He is an avid supporter of his local football club, Bolton Wanderers, and uses the club's training facilities.
Khan began boxing competitively at the age of 11, with early honours including three English school title, three junior ABA titles, and gold at the 2003 Junior Olympics. In early 2004 he won a gold medal at the European Student Championships in Lithuania, and in South Korea several months later he won World junior lightweight title after fighting five times in seven days. One of his notable early amateur fights was against Victor Ortíz, whom he defeated in a second round stoppage.
Khan qualified for the 2004 Summer Olympics by finishing in first place at the 1st AIBA European 2004 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He was Britain's sole representative in boxing at the Athens Games, winning a silver medal at the age of 17 in the lightweight boxing category. He was Britain's youngest Olympic boxer since Colin Jones in 1976. He lost in the final to Mario Kindelan, the Cuban who had also beaten him several months earlier in the pre-Olympic match-ups in Greece. In 2005 he avenged the two losses by beating the 34-year-old Kindelan in his last amateur fight. Khan finished his amateur career with a win/loss record of 100/2.
Despite declaring after the 2004 Olympics that he would pursue a Gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Khan turned professional in 2005, signing with English boxing promoter, Frank Warren. It is speculated by some that this decision was influenced by a row with the English Amateur Boxing Association over the ticketing allocation for his family and friends at the English ABA Finals. Khan won his professional debut against David Bailey via first round technical knockout, on 16 July 2005, at the Bolton Arena in Bolton.
Khan moved from lightweight to light welterweight for a single fight against French fighter Rachid Drilzane on 9 December 2006, winning a 10 round decision. Khan experienced the first knockdown of his career when his opponent caught him with a good left. Drilzane had never scored a knockout in his 13 fight career. Khan subsequently returned to the lightweight division for future fights. On 7 April 2007, Khan defeated Steffy Bull via third round technical knockout in Cardiff.
On 14 July 2007, Khan faced Willie Limond for the Commonwealth lightweight title. During the fight Khan was knocked down in the sixth round and appeared to be hurt badly. However, after another barrage of right hands, Khan weathered the storm and in the seventh round knocked down Limond. Limond's corner threw in the towel at the end of round eight.
On 6 October 2007, Khan faced Scott Lawton in his first defence of the Commonwealth lightweight title. Khan fought a mature and clinical fight, boxing with single punches for the majority of the first three rounds. Khan increased the pressure at the end of the third, and secured a TKO victory in the fourth. The referee stepped in when Lawton failed to fight back.
The most significant win of Khan's career up until that time came when he celebrated his 21st birthday by successfully defending his Commonwealth lightweight title against Graham Earl on 8 December 2007. Earl, rated the number one British lightweight and a former World title challenger, was considered Khan's toughest test by some way and a tough fight was expected, especially due to some ill-feeling between the pair in the run-up to the fight. However, it took Khan just 72 seconds to have the fight referee declare Earl in no fit state to continue. After the fight, Khan claimed that he rated this victory as the best of his career.
On 2 February 2008, Khan was scheduled to fight Martin Kristjansen, but illness forced the Dane to withdraw and instead Khan beat Australian Gary St Clair in a contest for the Commonwealth lightweight title at the ExCel Arena in London.
This was his first fight to last all 12 rounds and was won via a unanimous 120–108 scoring from all three ringside judges.
On 5 April 2008, Khan beat Kristjansen in the seventh round of a WBO World lightweight title eliminator. Before the contest, the fighters had been ranked third and fourth respectively by the WBO. After Khan's victory, he was ranked second, behind only Joel Casamayor.
Following the fight, Khan split from his trainer Oliver Harrison, the trainer for all of his previous 17 professional contests. The breakup was blamed on Harrison's concerns that Khan's public engagements were interfering with his fight preparations. An official spokesperson for Team Khan told reporters there was "nothing personal" between Khan and Harrison. Dean Powell, who has trained former World champions Duke McKenzie and Lloyd Honeyghan, worked with Khan until a decision on a permanent trainer was made. In the same month, Khan had a training session in Las Vegas with Roger Mayweather, trainer and uncle of Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Khan fought on 21 June 2008, at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham against Irishman Michael Gomez. Gomez, a super featherweight who was reaching the end of his career and had lost the last three of his six fights, was described as a "backward step" in Khan's quest for a World title. Khan stated "I think I'm above this domestic level now" and made it clear that he expected a fast and explosive finish to the fight. However, after the fight, Khan said he felt he had moved up a level by "fighting World class fighters like Gomez". Khan received criticism for being knocked down in the second round, but proved his resilience by coming back stronger after this. Former boxing champion Barry McGuigan seemed unimpressed after the fight and said Khan needed at least two more fights before he should consider a World title bout. Many journalists echoed McGuigan's opinion of Khan's defensive vulnerability.
A month after the Gomez fight, it was announced that Jorge Rubio would become Khan's new trainer. Rubio was chosen because Khan thought that he had very good chemistry with the Cuban trainer. Khan said "Rubio was showing me all these new training techniques, and I felt so comfortable because it suited my style. I knew I had the handspeed and the footwork to do it and I knew it was going to make me a much better fighter". Many boxing experts thought that Rubio needed to concentrate on improving Khan's defence and Khan's father agreed that he was showing great defensive skills during his training. In the early August, the lightweight Breidis Prescott was chosen by Rubio as Khan's next opponent, because Rubio had trained a fighter who had narrowly lost to Prescott before and thought that Khan would be able to handle the bigger Prescott, who had a prolific knockout record of 17 KOs in 19 contests. On 6 September 2008, Khan lost to Prescott in 54 seconds at the Manchester Evening News Arena on his Sky Box Office debut. Khan was knocked down within 25 seconds and struggled to make the count, Prescott downed him again within 41 seconds, moments later to win by knockout.
Following his defeat to Prescott, Frank Warren sacked Khan's trainer Jorge Rubio and replaced him with Freddie Roach.
Khan began training with Roach in the United States, where he sparred with then WBC World lightweight champion Manny Pacquiao, who is also being trained by Roach. On 6 December 2008, Khan recorded a comeback win against Oisin Fagan in a second-round stoppage. With victory, Khan won the vacant WBA International lightweight title. Khan knocked Fagan down twice in the first round and Fagan's corner threw in the towel in the second. After the fight it was revealed that Fagan had broken his ankle when falling after the first knock-down.
Khan vs Barrera
In early 2009, it was announced that Khan would fight former seven-time and three-weight World champion Marco Antonio Barrera on 14 March, at the Manchester Evening News Arena. Frank Warren promoted Khan's fight against the veteran Barrera, perhaps Khan's highest-profile opponent to date.
Barrera was ranked #1 and Khan #9 in the WBO World lightweight rankings. Previous IBF and WBO World lightweight title holder Nate Campbell was stripped of the belts after moving up to the light welterweight division and Khan's promoter Frank Warren and Barrera's promoter Don King lobbied the WBO to elevate the Khan-Barrera fight to a World lightweight title eliminator.
However, the World-title status was instead given to the fight between Juan Manuel Márquez and Juan Diaz, ranked #2 and #3 respectively by the WBO.
On 14 March 2009, at the MEN Arena in Manchester, England, Khan defeated Barrera, by a controversial technical decision. The fight was stopped towards the end of the fifth round due to Barrera suffering a severe cut in the first round, which resulted from a clash of heads. With Barrera deemed in no position to fight on by the ringside doctor after being allowed to continue for 4 rounds, the fight then went to the scorecards where Khan was ahead on all three (50–44, 50–45, 50–45).
With victory, Khan defended his WBA International lightweight title and also won the vacant WBO Inter-Continental lightweight title.
Frank Warren was sufficiently impressed with Khan's performance that he vowed to land a World title fight for him before the end of the year.
"There was a lot on his shoulders, but I always felt he could rise to the big occasion. I'd like to see him get a belt round his waist by the end of this year."
Khan also commented on the fight, saying:
"I felt so completely easy, catching him with jabs. I felt like I was on a better level than him. The jabbing and patience – I felt so strong. You could see the difference. I had to take some shots in that match. I made some mistakes in the past and I'm not going to make them again."
Light Welterweight (2009)
On 18 July 2009, Khan moved up to the light welterweight to fight Andreas Kotelnik at the MEN Arena in Manchester for the WBA World light welterweight title. Khan won by a unanimous decision, 120–108, 118–111, 118–111, and become the third-youngest Briton to win a World title, at the age of 22. Prior to the fight being on his radar, Khan mentioned to Steve Bunce that he thought Kotelnik was the "worst World champion" of any weight class.
On 6 October 2009, Frank Warren confirmed that Khan would defend his WBA World light welterweight title against undefeated Ukrainian American boxer Dmitry Salita, the mandatory challenger, on 5 December, at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Due to Khan being a practicing Muslim and Salita being an Orthodox Jew, the fight was hyped as a religious clash by the media, referring to it as a "battle of faiths" or "holy war", though Khan and Salita have both denied such claims. On 5 December 2009, Khan defeated mandatory challenger Salita in 76 seconds, winning by technical knockout in the first round. Salita was knocked down three times, the first time after just 10 seconds into the fight. It was the first ever loss of Salita's career.
On 17 January 2010, Khan announced he had split with British promoter Frank Warren and signed a deal with Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions.
Khan vs Malignaggi
On 9 March 2010, Golden Boy Promotions confirmed that WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan and former light welterweight World champion Paulie Malignaggi will hold a press conference in London to announce their World title bout set for 15 May at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. The fight was for the WBA light welterweight title, which Khan won in the 11th round. Immediately after the fight, Khan stated he wanted to fight Marcos Maidana next, and that he would not be leaving the light welterweight division until he had unified the various belts, suggesting that the way to do this would be for him to fight Maidana, and then go on to face the winner of a Devon Alexander vs. Timothy Bradley match.
Khan vs Maidana
Khan successfully defended his title for the third time against WBA Interim Champion and mandatory challenger, Marcos Maidana on 11 December 2010 in Las Vegas.
Khan dominated the fight early on and knocked down Maidana in the 1st round with multiple body shots. He eventually won out a narrow points victory with a unanimous decision despite a worrying 10th round wobble when Maidana successfully caught Khan. Madaina responded positively to the fight stating "It was a hell of a fight. He (Amir) is a great, skillful and fast boxer. And he proved that he can take a punch. He is a great champion".
Khan vs McCloskey
Khan took on Paul McCloskey in his next fight. The 31-year-old Irishman was unbeaten in 22 fights and is ranked World's number 10. Khan, said: “I am delighted that this fight has finally been put together following some tough negotiations.
This is a matchup the British public want to see and will be a fantastic fight between two of the best light-welterweights in the country.”
Khan won a sixth-round technical decision after Paul McCloskey was cut by an accidental head butt and couldn’t go on in the estimation of the ring doctor. The heads of Khan and McCloskey collided about two minutes into the sixth round, causing a bad cut on the inside of the Irishman’s left eyebrow.
In the decisive sixth, a five-punch combination from Khan staggered McCloskey and moments later the pair went toe-to-toe before McCloskey wheeled away and noticed blood coming from around his left eye.
Khan had some trouble with an awkward and resilient southpaw, who was difficult to hit cleanly, but was both too quick and too busy for McCloskey, Winning all six rounds on all three cards.
Khan vs Judah
After a war of words with Judah on Twitter, Amir Khan agreed on May 31 to fight Zab Judah in attempt to unify the IBF and WBA Light Welterweight titles in Las Vegas on 23 July After the Judah fight, Khan became victorious and now hopes to fight Mexican ring legend-Erik Morales sometime in December. After Morales, Khan looks for a domestic fight against UK fighter Kell Brook in the UK. Khan now believes after these three victories a potential bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr will be in the making. Khan defeated Judah by KO in the 5th round with a body shot after dominating all the previous rounds.
Charitable And Community Work
After the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Khan assisted in helping raise £1 million for victims of the disaster. After the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, Khan went to Pakistan and handed out food parcels to children in a camp.
In July 2006 Khan became involved in the No Messin' campaign, which promotes child safety around British railways. The same year he performed an Umrah (a pilgrimage to Mecca).
In 2008, he raised more than £6,000 for a firefighter who was badly burned while trying to save a family from an arson attack in Bolton. Khan along with a few other famous faces took part in a charity football match at Valley Parade in Bradford, the proceeds of the match went to the family of the murdered police officer Sharon Beshenivsky.
He has spent £1 million of his own money on opening the Gloves Community Centre and boxing gym in Bolton to get youths off the streets.
Khan was involved in a TV programme for Channel 4, Amir Khan's Angry Young Men, which consisted of three 50-minute episodes. The programme centred around troubled angry men and aimed to use the disciplines of boxing, coupled with faith and family values, to help re-focus their lives and steer them away from trouble in the future. It was screened in August/September 2007.
He has also been on a show called Proud Parents with his parents. In April 2008, Khan appeared on TV game show Beat the Star, and in January 2009 he guested on a celebrity version of ITV1's Family Fortunes, pitted against Jennie Bond.
Amir appeared at the MOBO Awards 2009 where he presented the award for best video. Amir has also appeared in Aik Din Geo Ke Saath, a show broadcast by the Pakistani television channel, Geo.