Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

My Mentor: Amir Khan


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)



20 Real Life Figures On Their Biopics


"I Want To Be World Number One Again"


Mike Tyson Fights Himself On Punch-Out


The £110,000 Louis Vuitton Punching Bag


Old-school fitness tips


22 biographies every man should read



Ballon d’Or: Who’s a fraud and who's not

We weigh up the merits of the 30 footballers recently deemed the planet's best

26 Oct 2016

Luis Suarez talks English football and the toughest PL defenders

He's a lover, not a biter

19 Oct 2016

Gary Lineker talks crisps, Rooney and "Sh*t on pitch"

Crisp don Gary Lineker reminisces about the time Diego Maradona nearly fell off a balcony

by Alex Christian
19 Oct 2016

Park Ji-sung now plays for De Montfort University's student side

And can't even prevent them from getting utterly drubbed

by Tristan Cross
14 Oct 2016

Watch San Marino players celebrate first WCQ away goal in 15 years

Ecstasy in Oslo

by Dave Fawbert
12 Oct 2016

The first-ever green card has been awarded in a football match

But how do you get one?

by Dave Fawbert
10 Oct 2016

Football's wonderkids that never made it

The prodigal youngsters that left us boy wondering

by Tristan Cross
05 Oct 2016

Celtic’s 13 year old wonderkid is already better than you'll ever be

Karamoko Dembele made his debut for the U20s last night

04 Oct 2016

The new FIFA president wants to ruin the World Cup

He might have just f*cked up massively

by David Cornish
04 Oct 2016

Sam Allardyce was foolish but he shouldn’t have been sacked

The England mess leaves more questions than answers

by Dave Fawbert
28 Sep 2016