Out of all the sports in the world, what made you choose boxing as your career?
The reason I chose boxing was because I was very hyper-active when I was young. So to divert my energy and to teach me some discipline, boxing was the support. Instead of me fighting at home, or fighting at school, my father took me to the gym at the age of eight to let me burn my energy.
No family wants to see their child all beaten up, so what’s the reaction of your family after every fight? Did anyone try to stop you?
It’s never easy to watch your son in the boxing ring. But it’s something I love to do, something I enjoy doing. Nontheless my parents hate seeing me punched in the face. My mom always tells me to retire and I say, one day I will, after my next fight! But this has been going for years. I think they do understand that I work really hard but no mother or father would like to see their son getting punched in their face.
Define your boxing style.
My boxing style is probably; speed movement. Not only do I have the quickest hands in boxing, I am also the fastest boxer in the world with the speed I have. I think my movement is great. I like to first hit and then move; that is my boxing style. You call it the awe of boxing; it is what I like.
If you weren’t a boxer, what would you have been?
If I was not a boxer I would probably have been into some business. I always had big dreams in life, for example you know; have a big car, have a nice house or meet big people and also have my family financially secured. All I know is I would have been a hard working guy, and that is what it is all about.
What is that one technique that makes you win the fight?
The technique that makes me win my fights is the speed, really. My speed is very fast. Every time my opponents after the fight speak to me and tell me that they couldn’t see the punch, it happened too fast. So I think that’s the key thing in my style.
Who inspired you to become a boxer?
My hero is Mohammad Ali. I like him because he wasn’t a hero ‘in’ the ring but he was also a hero ‘out’ of the ring. He always stood up to what he believed, which is very similar to me.
“ FOR ME PATIENCE IS THE KEY. NOTHING CAN BREAK ME DOWN! ”
What’s the most memorable fight and victory of your career?
I’ve got couple of memorable times in boxing; one was going to the Olympic Games, winning a medal. Along with that, I was the first youngest British Pakistani to win the medal. I think that was amazing since everyone was expecting me to lose because of my age but I proved them all wrong. Apart from that, my second best achievement was when I won the WBA at the age of 22 as the professional boxer and I was the second youngest in Britain to win a belt.
Any upcoming matches that you would want to share with us?
At the moment we haven’t confirmed anything as yet. But there is a lot to talk about the fighting in America, U.K. and Dubai. There are a few people I’d like to fight with, like; Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson. I want to show it to the world that Muslims and Pakistanis are not scared of anybody.
“ WHEN LIFE GETS TOUGH PUT ONYOUR BOXING GLOVES ”
What challenges have you faced in this field, and how did you overcome?
I face a lot of challenges, certainly a lot of negativity. Being a Muslim and a Pakistani can also be hard at times. People do not expect Pakistanis and Muslims to get into sports, especially into boxing; I am the only one in this decade to do it. And I achieved it by believing in myself and never giving up.
How do you perceive your future? Have you achieved your milestone that may have set a long time back, if yes then how was your experience?
My ambitions were to win an Olympic Medal and I did that! Then my dream was to become a World Champion and I did that twice. Now my aim is to win another World Tie, but it also depends upon my body. I will keep on going strong! Also, I will always be doing charity work, building orphanages and help the less fortunate in Pakistan.
Any message you would want to give to the aspiring boxers and you fans?
Work hard in life and never give up, be it sport or any other field. It’s all about training hard and never giving up. There are times when people give up and lose their dream but keep chasing your dream because nothing in life comes easy.
Tell us about Amir Khan Academy?
At the moment we have only one Amir Khan Academy in Islamabad which is doing really well. We’ve over 100 boxers training. Alongside, we’ve got female boxers who are treated exactly the same. We have already won over seven gold medals for the gym, six silver medals and two bronze medals. Insha Allah my next aim is to make an Olympian at the gym. It’s a bit difficult because I don’t know whether Pakistan Boxing Board would like to be part of it since Pakistan does not have International Boxing Association license at the moment.