Amir Khan Fighting for Africa

September 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

AmirKhan1Pakistani-British boxer Amir Khan has joined forces with United Kingdom-based  Islamic Help to support the victims of the devastating drought that has hit the Horn of Africa. Khan will be fronting the charity’s iHelp Knock Out Poverty campaign. Amir Khan will be making a guest appearance at Islamic Help’s fundraising dinner on September 17th at the Hilton London Metropole. Over 800 people are expected to attend the event to take advantage of the unique opportunity to meet this rising star in the world of boxing.

The Horn of Africa Crisis is, according to the United Nations, set to worsen over the coming months and as many as 750,000 people may lose their lives. It is estimated as the worst drought to affect the Horn of Africa in over 60 years. The United Nations has recently declared a famine in Bay, the sixth area in Somalia to have been declared a famine zone. The most vulnerable are still at greatest risk and acute malnutrition rates amongst children are at a staggering 58% in Somalia. Islamic Help launched an appeal for drought victims over three months ago and has carried out work on the ground to reach those in most need.

Since being propelled to fame by his silver medal victory at the Athens Olympics in 2004 Khan, now the Unified World Light-Welterweight Champion, has utilized his position as one of the England’s leading athletes to inspire and work with young people and with the socially and economically disadvantaged. He set up the Gloves Community Centre and Boxing Gym in Bolton and continues to support a number of grass roots initiatives.

Khan has also been very active in supporting humanitarian causes. He raised substantial sums of money for survivors of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami as well as for survivors of the Pakistani Earthquake in 2005. At that time he even went to Pakistan to deliver aid in person. Islamic Help is a UK based charity that has worked in over twenty countries globally. Its head office and Tanzania office will be co-coordinating the relief effort in Somalia.

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Amir Khan Unification Fight with Bradley Off

May 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

Amir KhanPakistani-British boxer Amir Khan and his camp are moving on after an imposed deadline issued by Golden Boy Promotions to junior welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr. came and went last week. Golden Boy CEO Richard Shaefer said that he had not heard from Gary Shaw, Bradley Jr.’s promoter or anyone in his camp before or after the 1pm deadline on Wednesday.  Khan (25-1, 17 knockouts) and Bradley (27-0, 11 knockouts) were scheduled to meet July 23rd in Las Vegas after Schaefer had worked out a deal with Khan, Shaw and HBO. However, in the end, Bradley chose not to accept Shaw’s offer of a minimum of $1.3 million, which would have been a career-high purse for Bradley.  The failure of this fight to occur is disappointing for several reasons. The hype for this fight had begun even before Khan took on and defeated Paul McCloskey in England last month. But more importantly, the fight would have unified three titles in the light welterweight division, with Khan holding the World Boxing Association (WBA) title, and Bradley holding the World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) belts.

For now, the back-up plan for Khan is a group of boxers that include interim lightweight titlist Robert Guerrero, Marcos Maidana (who Khan defeated in a close decision back in December), Erik Morales and International Boxing Federation (IBF) titleholder Zab Judah.  Each candidate is promoted by Golden Boy except Judah, who is with Main Events, which has done several fights with Golden Boy in the past. The logical target from this list would be Zab Judah, who is the IBF light welterweight belt holder. So, with Khan’s WBA belt, it would provide at least some level of unification. Discussions, however, are ongoing.

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Amir Khan Retains Title Belt

April 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

news-graphics-2008-_660030aBritish-Pakistani boxer Amir Khan retained his WBA light welterweight title by a technical decision on Saturday against challenger Paul McCloskey in Manchester, England. The fight was stopped by the referee in the sixth round because of a nasty cut over McCloskey’s left eye.  The ending was somewhat controversial, as referee Luiz Pabon deemed that the cut was a result of an accidental clash of heads. He summoned ringside doctor Phil Sahu, who believed McCloskey couldn’t continue with blood seeping into his eye and impairing his vision.  McCloskey was livid as Pabon sent the fight to the judges for a decision. And all three judges not only had Khan leading 60-54 in the 6th round, but they also had Khan the victor in each of the first five rounds, giving Khan the technical decision. 

After the fight, McCloskey’s camp was adamant that the fight should not have been stopped and that he was deserving of an immediate rematch. While Khan’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, was somewhat sympathetic to McCloskey’s sentiments, he was firm in stating that Khan would be moving on to other challengers in the immediate future. In fact, even before this fight, word had been circulating that a unification bout with WBO and WBC title holder Timothy Bradley had already been penciled in for July 23rd of this year in Las Vegas. With the win, Khan improved to 25-1 with 17 knockouts.

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Amir Khan in Final Preparations for McCloskey Fight

April 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

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Pakistani-British boxer Amir Khan is in the final stages of training for the next rung in his ladder of success. He takes on Northern Ireland’s Paul McCloskey this weekend in a defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) light welterweight title. Khan has been so focused in fact that he shut down his Twitter and Facebook accounts several weeks ahead of the bout in order to avoid additional distractions. He even spent a few weeks in the Phillipines to train with boxing superstar Manny Pacqiao as well as the expert trainer whom they share as clients, Freddie Roach. Roach has now come to Manchester, England to assist Khan in the days leading up to the April 16th fight.

There was some controversy this past week when the Khan-McCloskey fight was dropped from pay-per-view to regular cable television viewing on England’s SkySports 3. Khan took this as an insult to the fighters, and he and his camp have now shifted the fight to a lower level of pay-per-view on Primetime TV. The reasons for the downgrade were apparently related to the underwhelming caliber of fighters on the undercard, which came into view in particular after fellow Muslim boxer Hasim Rahman pulled out of his fight against undefeated Brit Tyson Fury.

McCloskey himself is in fact undefeated, so this will be no cakewalk for Khan. And there is already talk that a unification bout with World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) light-welterweight titleholder Timothy Bradley has already been penciled in for July 23rd in Las Vegas. And if Khan were able to win that fight, he would be, at age 24, the youngest undisputed world champion in British boxing history. So even more than Twitter or Facebook, that is the kind of distraction that Khan will have to keep out of his mind if he wants to be known the world over as King Khan and not A Mere Con.

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