Amir Khan (born December 8, 1986) is a British
professional boxer and two time former world champion, having held
the unified WBA and IBF light welterweight titles. He currently holds
the WBC Silver welterweight title, and has fought at three weight
classes: lightweight, light welterweight, and welterweight.
is the youngest British Olympic boxing medalist, winning silver at
the 2004 Athens Olympics, at the age of 17. He is also one of the
youngest ever British world champions, winning the WBA light welterweight
title at the age of 22. The International Business Times ranked
him the eighth best pound for pound boxer in 2011. As an amateur,
he scored notable wins over two time Olympic gold medalist Mario Kindelan
and future world champion Victor Ortiz. As a professional, Khan holds
notable wins over nine world champions, including Andreas Kotelnik,
Marcos Maidana, Julio Diaz, Luis Collazo, Chris Algieri, Paulie Malignaggi,
Devon Alexander, Marco Antonio Barrea, and Zab Judah.
Khan was born and raised in Bolton, Greater Manchester. He
belongs to a Punjabi Rajput family with roots in Matore village of
Kahuta Tehsil, located in Rawalpinki district of the Punjab, Pakistan.
He was educated at Smithhills School in Bolton, and Bolton Community
College. Khan is Muslim, and a member of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order,
along with being an active supporter of the Muslim Writers Awards.
has two sisters and one brother, Haroon "Harry" Khan, and undefeated
professional boxer. He is the first cousin of English Cricketer Sajid
Mahmood, related through a paternal grandfather, Lal Khan Janua, who
moved to England after being discharged from the Pakistan Army.
Khan began to box competitively at the age of 11, with early
honours including three English school titles, 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 Ortiz, whom he defeated in a second round
stoppage. Overall, he compiled an amateur record of 101-9.
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 Kinelan in his last amateur fight.
On February 2, 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 April 5, 2008, Khan beat Krisjansen
in the seventh round of a WBO 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
Following the fight, Khan split from his trainer
Oliver Harrison, the trainer for all of his previous 17 professional
contest. The break-up was blamed on Harrison's concerns that Khan's
public engagements were interfering with his fight preparations. Khan's
spokesman told reporters there was "nothing personal" between Khan