DUBAI: Two-time boxing world champion Amir Khan is set to transform boxing in the region after being named president of the newly formed World Boxing Council (WBC) Middle East Boxing Council, and will now oversee the first ever structured boxing governing body with a commitment to developing the sport for future generations.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be appointed as the President of the WBC Middle East Boxing Council by Mauricio and the WBC to head up this incredible and historic project to establish and develop boxing in the region,” Khan said.
Khan has strong ties to the region and in September announced that he will be setting up a base in the UAE to carry out future sporting and business ventures, and will be spending his time between his hometown of Bolton and Dubai. In July of last year, Khan defeated Billy Dib of Australia in four rounds at Jeddah’s King Abdullah Sports City to clinch the vacant WBC international welterweight title.
“We planted the seed with my fight against Billy Dib in Jeddah last year which was an historic moment for the region to be the first Muslim boxer to fight for a title,” he said of fight that took place in front to almost 10,000 mostly Saudi boxing fans. “Now with a WBC Middle East Council coming into operation, it will pave the way for big-name fighters and high-profile events to be staged there and for boxers in the region to have similar opportunities,”
“Winning Olympic silver, world titles and fighting the best of my era has been an unbelievable career, but what we’re going to achieve in the Middle East and the lasting legacy we’ll leave in honor of José, I believe is going to be the ultimate highlight of my career.”
Khan has a long-term, strategic vision for the evolution and advancement of the sport there and believes his considerable experience in every facet of boxing places him in a unique position as he oversees the implementation of the revolutionary plan and to drive it through with his unwavering verve.
The boxer, of Pakistani origin, has experienced everything in his 20 plus years in boxing from the amateur code, where he captured an Olympic silver medal in 2004 at just 17, through to the pros where he won a multitude of titles – including the WBC Silver and International belts – and two World titles, while facing the best pound-for-pound fighters of his generation.
In addition to his ring legacy, Khan has acquired a significant resume which includes heading his own promotional organization and being involved in philanthropic work through the Amir Khan Foundation which aims to improve the lives of millions of disadvantaged children around the world.