Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

My Mentor: Amir Khan

khan.jpg

The former light-welterweight world champion salutes his supportive father

My father, Shah Khan, has always been there for me.

I didn’t know what boxing was at age eight. I was hyperactive, so my dad took me to the gym to burn energy and put it into boxing. The sport put me on the right path, turning my energy into something positive. Boxing’s the only sport that teaches discipline – you have to listen to your trainer, otherwise you’re kicked out of the gym.

He’d come to the gym and hold the bags for me.

It was the gym round the corner from where we lived in Bolton. I loved its atmosphere, the advice I was given. I’d train hard. It felt like home for me. We used to go for runs near our home, too. I was nine or 10. Having a family to support you is a big help.

He treated me the same after I won Olympic silver.

I was only 17 and everything around me changed – I couldn’t even go to the corner shop. I only had silver, but it was like I’d won the gold medal. But everything was normal at home, which is what I needed. My family didn’t treat me any differently.

My dad helps in my training camp.

He makes sure everything’s good. He calls in my sparring partners, fixes their itineraries, keeps in touch with my dietician and gets things ready. It takes the pressure off the fight. I’ve been training in San Francisco with Virgil Hunter, and it’s been nice for my father to come running and training with me out here. It’s a camp we love, as we get away from all the distractions of the UK.

He is ringside for all of my fights.

A boxing ring is a very lonely place. It makes a difference knowing he’s there. It’s a big help, a big motivation. My dad’s always said to me, “You want to watch out in this sport, you’re always one punch away from being hurt.” I know he and my family will be the first ones to tell me to stop boxing.

Amir Khan is training for his next fight against Devon Alexander on 13 December at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas. For tickets, visit sportscorporation.com or call 0845-163 0845

(Photograph: Mark Robinson/MDR Photography)

Related

Fighter.jpg

20 Real Life Figures On Their Biopics

rexfeatures_4244783g.jpg

"I Want To Be World Number One Again"

Iron-Mike.jpg

Mike Tyson Fights Himself On Punch-Out

LV.jpg

The £110,000 Louis Vuitton Punching Bag

fitness.jpg

Old-school fitness tips

hero2.jpg

22 biographies every man should read

Comments

More

BT Sport is about to start showing live games of FIFA 17

Would you tune in to watch the FIFA pros?

by Alex Finnis
23 Feb 2017

Morrisons want Sutton's Wayne Shaw as an official pie-taster

This was inevitable

by Alex Finnis
21 Feb 2017

Sutton United's Wayne Shaw resigns over pie-eating betrayal of footbal

Is nothing pure?

by Sam Diss
21 Feb 2017

The original green Power Ranger wants to fight CM Punk

Would watch

21 Feb 2017

Arsenal have a tiny dressing room at Sutton away

by Alex Finnis
20 Feb 2017

Liverpool FC ban The Sun journalists from Anfield

A full Sun shun

by Gary Ogden
10 Feb 2017

Five football club badges reimagined for the corporate era

Embrace the prawn sandwiches guys, embrace them

26 Jan 2017

Usain Bolt loses Olympic Gold after teammate's doping conviction

The sprinter's 'triple treble' is no more

25 Jan 2017

How Eric Cantona's kung-fu kick changed my life

22 years to the day, one writer muses over that infamous night at Selhurst Park

by Dave Fawbert
24 Jan 2017

Senegal goalkeeper pulls the most ridiculous time-wasting trick ever

That's one way to kill a few seconds

by Dave Fawbert
24 Jan 2017