Amir Khan wants to represent Pakistan after Olympic boxing ruling


Karachi—Amir Khan would “love” to fight for Pakistan at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The 29-year-old fighter won a silver medal for Great Britain at the 2004 Games in Athens, but has revealed he would relish the chance to honour his Pakistani heritage by fighting for the Asian country later this year.
Khan’s remarks come shortly after the International Boxing Association (AIBA) confirmed that professional fighters would be allowed to compete in Brazil. Khan, who was born in Britain and has fought under the British flag throughout his amateur and professional career, welcomed the decision and said he would happily represent Pakistan at the upcoming Games.
“It will help boxers and if I am permitted as per rules and from my promoter then I would love to compete for Pakistan,” he said during a press conference in Karachi. “I will be very happy if I can compete in the Olympics. I want to serve Pakistan.”
His father Sajjad Khan hails from Matore village near Kahuta, home to Pakistan’s nuclear facilities and close to the capital Islamabad. He migrated to Britain, where Khan was born in 1986.
Khan said he has roots in Pakistan and wants to serve the country.
“I will be very happy if I can compete in Olympics. I want to serve Pakistan,” said Khan, who has been scouting boxing talent in the country for the last few years.
But Khan’s younger brother Haroon’s dreams of representing Pakistan in the 2012 London Olympics after being snubbed at home were blocked by boxing’s governing body AIBA as he had represented Great Britain at junior level.
Haroon had represented Pakistan in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India where he won a bronze medal in flyweight event. Seven Pakistani boxers will compete in the last qualifying rounds in Baku, Azerbaijan, but they stand little chance of reaching the Rio Games.
Pakistan’s last appearance in the boxing event came at the Athens Games in 2004.
Pakistan Boxing Federation secretary Iqbal Hussain said he was thrilled at the prospect of Amir representing the country.
“I have to check the rules whether Amir can compete or not but it would be a huge boost for us if it happens because he is our hero,” Hussain told AFP.—AFP

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