Tommy Barber – London
Amir Khan is gangster because he is defending his unified WBA/IBF super lightweight world championship in his opponent’s home town, according to Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer. Khan fights his IBF mandatory challenger Lamont Peterson on Saturday, December 10 at the Walter E Washington Convention Center in Washington DC.
“I asked the great Bernard Hopkins recently why he had wanted to fight against Jean Pascal in Pascal’s home town of Montreal when they fought — and Hopkins told me ‘because its gangster’ to do that’,” Schaefer is quoted to have said by British broadsheet The Telegraph to have said.
A well-spoken Briton from Bolton, the north-west of England, Khan switches from gentleman to G when he steps through the ropes, as Schaefer said: “Amir has plenty of ‘gangster’ about him, what I mean is, when he steps into the ring he is like a street fighter.”
Like notorious mob bosses Ronnie and Reggie Kray were the pinup boys of London’s underworld in the 1950′s and 1960′s, Khan too is becoming a wild success on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean due to his good looks and exceptional boxing ability.
“He has become the face of boxing in the United Kingdom and he has captured the attention of fans in the United States in a short space of time.”
Commenting on his third fight on American canvas, Amir said: “I’m always fighting on the road, away from home. I’ve fought in New York, I fought twice in Vegas, it makes me train harder when my opponent is the main attraction or has the most support… I want to win the fans over wherever I go and become a global name.”
Khan will begin his training camp next week when he arrives at the Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood, California: “I leave for Los Angeles to train with Freddie Roach, who has cut short the camp with Manny Pacquiao in the Philippines to fit me in with the plans.”