Amir Khan is a British professional boxer who has become one of the most recognizable faces in the sport over the past decade. He’s made big news with his doping ban, but should that sour his legacy? He has won multiple world championships in two different weight classes and has become a household name not only in the UK, but around the world. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Amir Khan’s life, career, and accomplishments.
Amir Khan: Career and Legacy
Early Life and Career
Amir Khan was born on December 8th, 1986, in Bolton, England. His parents were originally from Pakistan, and they moved to the UK in the 1970s. Khan grew up in Bolton and began boxing at a young age, inspired by his father’s love for the sport. His father, Shajaad Khan, was a former amateur boxer who trained Amir from the age of eight.
Khan quickly proved to be a prodigious talent in the ring, winning numerous national and international tournaments as a junior boxer. He represented England at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece, at the age of just 17, and became Britain’s youngest Olympic boxing medalist ever, winning a silver medal in the lightweight division.
Amir Khan’s Professional Career
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After the Olympics, Amir turned professional and signed with renowned boxing promoter Frank Warren. He made his pro debut in July 2005 and won his first 18 fights in a row, becoming one of the most promising young fighters in the sport.
In 2008, Khan suffered his first professional loss, a 54-second knockout defeat to Breidis Prescott. The loss was a setback for Khan, but he bounced back by winning his next six fights, including a victory over Marco Antonio Barrera in 2009, which established him as a major force in the sport.
In 2011, Khan won the WBA (Super) light-welterweight title with a controversial decision victory over American boxer, Lamont Peterson. However, he lost the title in his very next fight against Danny Garcia in July 2012.
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Khan took some time off from boxing after the Garcia fight and returned to the ring in 2014 with a win over Luis Collazo. He then defeated Devon Alexander in December 2014 to win the WBC silver welterweight title.
In 2015, Khan faced the undefeated American boxer, Chris Algieri, and won a unanimous decision victory. Later that year, he challenged the then WBC middleweight champion, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, in a fight that many saw as a mismatch due to the size difference between the two fighters. Although Khan put up a valiant effort, he was knocked out in the sixth round, and his corner threw in the towel.
In 2016, Khan moved back down to welterweight and defeated Sammy Vargas. He then faced off against Phil Lo Greco in April 2018, winning the fight in just 39 seconds. However, he suffered a shock defeat to the unheralded Colombian boxer, Samuel Vargas, later that year.
In 2019, Khan faced off against WBO welterweight champion, Terence Crawford. The fight ended in a technical knockout victory for Crawford in the sixth round, and it was widely criticized for being stopped prematurely.
Amir Khan retired from boxing in July 2020, after a career that spanned 15 years, 39 fights, and 34 wins.
Amir Khan’s Accomplishments
Olympic Silver Medalist
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In 2004, at the age of just 17, Amir Khan represented Great Britain at the Athens Olympics. He competed in the lightweight division and made a stunning run to the final, winning four bouts in a row. In the final, he faced off against Cuban boxer Mario Kindelan, who was a two-time Olympic gold medalist and one of the best boxers in the world at the time.
Despite losing the final to Kindelan, Khan’s performance was impressive, and he won a silver medal. His success at the Olympics made him a household name in the UK and set the stage for his professional career.
Amir Khan as a World Champion in Two Weight Classes
Amir Khan turned professional in 2005 and won his first 18 fights in a row. He quickly established himself as one of the most promising young boxers in the sport, and in 2009, he won his first world championship, the WBA (Super) light-welterweight title, with a victory over Andreas Kotelnik.
He successfully defended his title against Dmitry Salita, Paulie Malignaggi, and Marcos Maidana before losing it to Lamont Peterson in a controversial decision in 2011. However, he regained the title in 2012 with a win over Danny Garcia, becoming a two-time world champion in the process.
After losing his title to Garcia, Amir moved up to welterweight and won the WBC silver welterweight title with a win over Devon Alexander in 2014. He also won the WBC International welterweight title with a victory over Luis Collazo later that year.
Fighting the Best in the World
Throughout his career, Amir Khan has never shied away from fighting the best boxers in the world. He has faced off against some of the biggest names in the sport, including Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Terence Crawford, and Marcos Maidana.
In 2015, Amir challenged Alvarez for the WBC middleweight title in a fight that many saw as a mismatch due to the size difference between the two fighters. Although he put up a valiant effort, Amir was knocked out in the sixth round, and his corner threw in the towel.
In 2019, Amir faced off against Terence Crawford for the WBO welterweight title. Although he was ultimately stopped in the sixth round, his performance in the early rounds of the fight was impressive, and he showed that he was still capable of competing at the highest level.
Amir Khan’s Legacy
Amir Khan’s accomplishments in the ring have solidified his legacy as one of the greatest boxers of his generation. He has won multiple world championships, represented Great Britain at the Olympics, and faced off against some of the best boxers in the world.
His influence on the sport extends beyond his accomplishments in the ring, however. He has been an advocate for boxing in the U.K. and has used his platform to raise awareness about important issues, such as mental health.
Amir Khan will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most talented and accomplished boxers in the sport’s history. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations of boxers and fans alike.