Although at one time something of a mercurial figure amongst boxing fans, WBA light welterweight Amir Khan has shown recently that he has a big heart in and out of the ring.
In his recent title defense against the hard hitting Argentinian Marcos Maidana, Khan showed a lot of courage as well as a better chin than most gave him credit for in surviving a tenth round that saw him take repeated clean shots and at times had trainer Freddie Roach close to throwing in the towel. As visibly shaken as he was though, Khan remained on his feet and recovered quickly enough to avoid much further punishment for the remaining two rounds.
In the end he took a clear decision win after securing the majority of the early rounds with his footwork and fast combinations. He is now only perhaps two fights away from becoming the undisputed linear champion at light welterweight, and is expected to fight the winner of the upcoming bout between WBO champion Tim Bradley and WBC/IBF Devon Alexander later this month.
But it is perhaps his out of ring activities of late which he deserves the most credit for. Long after much of the rest of the world seems to have forgotten about the tragedy, Khan continues to campaign to alleviate the suffering of the flood victims in Pakistan many of whom have been without basic necessities for several months.
From Khan’s official blog:
“The boxing ace is giving five big-hearted fans the opportunity to sit at his table during his 23rd of January charity dinner. Working alongside Oxfam, the hope is to raise enough money to build a girls school in the Sindh region of Pakistan, which was left devastated from the July 2010 floods.
Sitting in the company of the Olympic silver medalist you will enjoy a fabulous three course dinner and a host of entertainment at the Bollywood themed function that includes performances from the brilliant musical duo Bonafide, dazzling dancing from Brit Asia – led by the super talented Jay Kumar, with Mumzy and H Dhami also on show.
As well as this there will be an auction, before a stand-up routine from comedian Kane Brown, who is certain to have the crowd in stitches with his witty one-liners.
Dining alongside Amir you will also have free reign to pick his brain and ask him the questions you have always wanted to.”
The young champion, who has campaigned tirelessly to aid those affected by the floods, will next take the the ring in April in the UK, and although undecided as of yet the favorites as his opponent are currently European champion Paul McCloskey and contender Lamont Peterson who recently drew with Khan’s Golden Boy stable mate Victor Ortiz , although the latter has apparently priced himself out of the fight.
Breidis Prescott is also as usual campaigning for a rematch with Khan, who he knocked out in a round at lightweight in 2008, but with his two recent losses and struggles in form against even meager opposition, it isn’t looking too likely at this stage.
Alec Harman, Pitt: “Khan should fight Judah if he wants to fight Mayweather soon, but I guess it’s only a warm up for Bradley or Alexander in April”
Ishmail Chahal, Manchester: “Khan should fight Prescott instead of McCloskey, would be a much bigger fight if he put it on here”