- About Asiana
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Amir Khan - the ring leader
The light weight champion takes Asiana into the ring. Photography by Sohail Anjum.
What type of training do you have to do when leading up to a fight?
We do all sorts of training and it’s the hardest part of boxing. We spent about 10 weeks in LA where it contains waking up 5am in the morning, doing swimming, sprints, running, hill running, steps then I normally go back to bed again, then back in the gym at 1pm again doing another session, of sparring, boxing, hitting the bags, speed work, circuit training, skipping. Its very intense and I only have one day off in that week.
What do you do on your days off?
I stay in bed, chill, lounge around. I wake up late because I’m not a morning person although 9am is still quite early. I go for a walk in Hollywood because that’s where I live and spend time with family and friends.
You’re a great role model and inspiration amongst the Asian community. You must be proud…
I’m doing what I love, and people love me for it, which is boxing. I love to give back to the community and do my charity work, and being in the position that I am, having the status I have, I should use it to do something positive. There have been a lot of bad things going on in world, like the riots where we lost three Asian youths from Birmingham, so I was on the campaign to stop the riots. We also raised over 100,000 for the African famine so I love to do charity work and be a good role model for the younger generation.
So are you a true gangster at heart?
(Laughs) I’m never a gangster!
So what really goes through your head when you’re in the ring?
I am the nicest guy outside the ring, down to earth, chilled, but as soon as I step into the boxing ring its a different story. I don’t fear anything apart from God. I don’t fear getting hurt and boxing is probably the most dangerous sport in the world. You go in there to hurt your opponent and that’s what I do but I don’t fear anything as long as I know that I’ve trained hard and got the blessing from my parents, family and prayers from the people around the world, then no-one will hurt me.
What’s your take on women who want to take up boxing as a career?
Female boxing is an Olympic sport now, they wear head guards now so they don’t get hurt too much, but to be honest you wouldn’t want a female to be boxing professionally because it will cause violence in relationships. Imagine the wife boxing and beating the husband up. Female boxing is ok but you wouldn’t really want to see a woman get punched in the face - they’re too good looking to get punched.
Any chance of settling down anytime soon?
No, not yet, I’m in love with my sport and at the moment I’m 100% focused on that, but if anything comes up you'll be the first to know.
How does it feel to be the world champion in the light weight division?
I think its brilliant. I’m a world champion at 24 and it feels amazing. It was my dream as a young child to be world champion and be the best at my sport and I’m in that position now, so its about keeping hold of it, keeping my feet firmly on the ground, enjoying it all and soaking it all up.
What’s left for you to accomplish?
I want to become a pound for pound world champion which means your a world champion but for all the different weight divisions, your the number one in the world and most talked about fighter and be known as a legend in the sport.