(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Amir Khan, the UK-born and bred pugilist, took to competitive boxing at the tender age of 11.
He is in Dubai to participate in the Super Boxing League's Amir Khan Crypto Fight Night, which will be held tonight, October 16.
Khan spoke exclusively to Khaleej Times, despite his busy schedule.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
Were you eagerly waiting for the SBL's Amir Khan Crypto fight night in Dubai on Saturday?
Yes, of course. This was a one-of-its-kind event, unlike anything that ever happened before. With this association, we will further augment our endeavour to reach like-minded groups who believe in innovation and transformation.
Also, the fact that I have my brother Abdul Khan making his professional debut in this, makes me even more excited. I can't wait to see him inside the ring. He is the next Khan champion-in-the-making.
Will you be missing the ring as you are not scheduled in the main/co-main events?
I don't think so. And who says that I need to fight to be a part of this? As the chairman of SBL, my job is to mentor the talent participating in the event. Bill Dosanjh, who is the founder of SBL, and I have a vision where we have strong aspirations to establish a sports ecosystem globally.
The various associations that SBL has been making since its inception in India, followed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and now in Dubai, are all unique. We launched in India in the league format, then became the first promoters who got boxing to the Middle East with the SBL Jeddah Season and now this unique culmination of boxing and blockchain.
We also hosted the first-ever WBC Heavyweight title in the Middle East. As a boxer, I definitely love being in the ring, but for this event, my role is different; as a promoter, I have multiple responsibilities to ensure that the show we put up needs to be big.
What were the factors that brought boxers and crypto community partners together on a common platform?
They both want to give back to their respective communities. The boxers want to give it the sport of boxing and the crypto partners want to give back to their blockchain community. Another common factor is pace and transformation.
Do you see a growing interaction between boxers and blockchain enthusiasts in Dubai, India and other places around the globe? What are the factors that will ensure this close interaction?
Blockchain is the new move across financial markets globally. Sports is a $1.1 (Dh4.04) trillion global market and growing. The world of sports has made a significant entry into the cryptocurrency space worldwide. I think this will be a new age once it happens globally.
Could you tell us about the Amir Khan Foundation and its work?
The Amir Khan Foundation was established in 2014. It aims to provide support to those most in need at home and abroad. From the building of orphanages in Africa, to disaster relief following the 2015 floods in Cumbria, England, the foundation is firmly rooted in service to vulnerable communities everywhere.
Since its inception, it has responded to global emergencies and facilitated developmental projects across the world. The foundation exists to support individuals, families and communities globally, and to offer relief and support during times of hardship, urgent need and upheaval.
Are you looking forward to the fight with Neeraj Goyat, the top professional boxer, in India next year?
When we fight, we will be connecting two nations — India and Pakistan — in a healthy manner. Neeraj is a very promising fighter, so a face-off with him will be exciting for the fans as well.
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