Amir Khan, True Muslims, Mexicans, Donald Trump, Floyd Mayweather, JR & Oscar De La Hoya Share Some Boxing Space
By Donald “Braveheart” Stewart
I wrote last week about our fascination over the US presidential election as it is viewed over here. I have to say we are fascinated and more than a little terrified that you guys might elect a man who gets excited over a famous and beautiful woman dropping to her knees on his reality TV show.
With yet another terrorist atrocity on mainland Europe with which to deal we are also more than a little sensitive over what shall happen with the latest round of anti Muslim feeling that has been created thanks to idiots who cannot read their Holy scripture without someone acting as their interpreter.
Donald Trump was also highly vocal about the borders not just to the south of your country but also to the rest of the world as he called for the banning of Muslims entering the US.
More than a little sarcastically it was Oscar De La Hoya who ‘thanked’ Donald Trump for giving him the inspiration to organize the upcoming super-fight between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Amir Khan as Trump had held both those opinions – about Mexicans and Muslims.
Khan, a British-born Muslim fighter, will face Mexican-born WBC middleweight world champion Alvarez in Las Vegas on May 7th, purposefully the week of Mexican national holiday Cinco de Mayo.
Alvarez is a fighter known to most Americans as the one guy who most thought might have taken Floyd Mayweather, JR.’s crown and unbeaten record only to find that Mayweather, JR. was no fool and had made more money on the back of knowing his market.
For us in the UK it was the news that Khan actually had a fight that was as much of a surprise as it was, who he was fighting. We had witnessed the farce of Khan winning a Twitter poll to fight Floyd Mayweather, JR. only to find that Twitter does not influence the Mayweather,JR. money machine. It was Khan that had started negotiations with Manny Pacquiao with a view to being the guy who fought Manny in his last fight, just as he had hoped to be Mayweather’s swansong; something broke down and it never happened in training. It was Khan whose negotiations through his team, for a British summer super fight with Kell Brook had driven Eddie Hearn close to tears, tantrums and distraction as Hearn claimed he was negotiating with an entourage and not the man himself.
Cheekily some people had thought Khan was more likely to retire than ever fight again…
Then along came the biggest fight of his career and one of the biggest surprises of the year. I had written all along that I thought the Khan/Brook fight was unlikely but I never saw the Canelo fight – not once. I don’t think anybody did. It is a massive fight.
Khan does believe that both Mayweather, JR. and Pacquiao avoided him because they knew they would lose to him. To prove that he must beat Canelo – the man beaten by Mayweather, JR. In one sense Khan needs to change his fortunes. At the 2003 Junior Olympics and at the 2004 European Student Championships and World Junior championships he had won Gold but at the Olympics in Beijing in 2008 he took Silver. We all thought we had one of the most exciting prospects in the World. And we did. Despite not getting that elusive Gold this was a guy who looked like he could make it in the professional ranks. Unfortunately for Khan that promise turned when first Prescott and then Garcia landed him on his backside and in between Peterson got a split decision and caused question marks to appear over his head.
What there has never been is question marks over his faith or his commitment to his country. Khan is a model citizen, thanks to following his faith. Outside of boxing he has become an example of how his life is lived as an example to others. A devout Muslim, Khan practices what is preached. He is modest, gives a great deal to charity and has been involved in working with young men who have issues with aggression in a high profile television program. Amir Khan is the type of model Muslim that could fight against terror daily whilst others talk about it and wonder why they are losing.
He, and his family, are always behind Khan and his brother Haroon. When Haroon was overlooked for the Commonwealth Games by the English Amateur Boxing Association he boxed at the Commonwealth games in Delhi for Pakistan and won their first medal of the Games – a Bronze!
I leave De La Hoya with the last word as he said, “We’re going to have millions of Muslims, millions of Mexicans, buying pay-per-view, and watching the fight live from Las Vegas.” Amen to that as boxing reaches across the divide and unites us all in awe – not shock.