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Amir Khan Is Giving Serious Consideration To Competing In The Rio Olympics, But Not For Britain

Amir Khan Is Giving Serious Consideration To Competing In The Rio Olympics, But Not For Britain
By Gavan Casey
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Not yet a month removed from his brutal knockout defeat at the right hand of Mexico's Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, Amir Khan has revealed that he has serious aspirations of participating in this summer's Olympic Games. But he doesn't want to represent Great Britain.

The AIBA announced on Wednesday morning that professional boxers will be allowed to qualify for and fight in Rio, causing much hysteria in the boxing world and, frankly, a lot of condescending nonsense about amateur fighters getting hurt.

As Irish-boxing.com's Joe O'Neill points out, pro fighters with fewer than 15 contests under their belt were permitted to qualify for London 2012 via the 'semi-pro' World Series of Boxing; that limit was subsequently increased to 20 fights for Rio 2016, and has now been removed by the world governing body.

It's unclear as to what effect, if any, such a rule change will have on this summer's Olympic boxing, but Boxing Monthly's Marcus Bellinger has astutely explained the further difficulties for professionals, which might well put them off attempting to reach Rio via the final qualifiers next month.


Khan's inclusion, however, would be a conspicuous departure from the norm. The 29-year-old welterweight turned professional having won a silver medal aged 17 at Athens 2004, and the former light-welterweight world champion says he's keen to represent Pakistan - the nation of his father's birth - in Rio, if it can be arranged:

It's a decision which I welcome.

It will help boxers and if I am permitted as per rules and from my promoter then I would love to compete for Pakistan. I will be very happy if I can compete in the Olympics. I want to serve Pakistan.

Iqbal Hussain, secretary at the Pakistan Boxing Federation, said he was overjoyed at the notion of Khan representing the nation:

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.

Khan's younger brother Haroon - himself a professional - was blocked from representing Pakistan in London as he had already represented Great Britain in a number of junior championships. On that basis, it's difficult to see how Amir could switch nations at senior level for an event of such magnitude.


Last week, Khan's former stablemate Manny Pacquiao announced he would not be competing at Rio due to his congressional duties, which rules out a long-mooted pro clash taking place at the Olympics.

Earlier today, we spoke to Andy Lee who gave his thoughts on the reasoning behind the AIBA's decision, and explained in detail why he wouldn't wish to return to the Olympics as a professional.

[Sky Sports]

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