feature Monday, 03 June 2013

Haroon Khan's toughest opponent? His mum

Amir's brother tells John Dennen about starting out as a professional boxer

Amir’s more of boxer whereas I’m more aggressive. I like to get in and brawl here and there

HAROON KHAN, younger brother of Amir, is two fights into his professional career and hopes to box again in September.

His pro debut was in Sheffield on his brother’s undercard and he followed that with a knockout victory in Atlantic City on the bill headlined by Lamont Peterson and Lucas Matthysse. “It was good, especially getting that experience and letting American fans see what I’m capable of ,” said Haroon.

With Amir as a rolemodel, the younger Khan is ambitious. “Everyone’s ambition as a professional is to become a world champion,” he said. “In the short term, hopefully next year I want to be the British champ and English champ.”

Paul Butler is the reigning British champion at super-flyweight and Haroon has longer term ambitions of fighting him. “I never boxed him, never sparred him [in the amateurs]. I'm surprised we didn’t. He even said himself that hopefully once I’m on his level we can get the fight on,” Khan said.

Haroon’s amateur career had its frustrations. He did win a bronze medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games but did not fulfill his hopes of boxing at an Olympic Games and he’d had 18 months out of the ring before his debut.

“Straight after the Commonwealth Games I had a shoulder operation. I had to start arguing with my mum because my mum didn’t want me to fight. So far that’s my toughest opponent,” he said. “I don’t want to regret in the long run, thinking I could have become a boxer, I could have done this, I could have done that.”

The time out made him nervous ahead of the first pro fight. “When I boxed in America, I was more calm, I was more focused and I was picking my shots,” he said.

“Compared to Amir, Amir’s more of a boxer. He’s more speed, whereas I’m more aggressive. I like to get in and brawl here and there. I can adapt to any style.”

Amir though did find himself in another hard fight in Sheffield, when Julio Diaz put in a much tougher than expected showing. “I know for a fact if Diaz fights anyone like that, he definitely get up there [to world level],” said Haroon.

“Every fight that Amir has, I learn so much from it. This fight, what Amir’s done with Virgil [Hunter, his new trainer], he’s not 100% [there]. There’s still 30% there to learn. I don’t think in the next 12 months Amir will get beat off anyone.”

For more on Haroon and Amir Khan don't miss the current issue of Boxing News magazine

Author : John Dennen


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