Former light welterweight World Champion Amir Khan admitted he would love to inspire the next generations of boxing champions.
Khan was special guest at the KBW Gym’s amateur boxing show, in Dewsbury, last Friday and was impressed with many of the fighters who were in action.
The 29-year-old from Bolton has many friends from the area and spent several hours at the Orchid Banqueting Suite, taking in the boxing while having photos taken and signing autographs for his adoring fans.
Khan said: “I know a lot of the fighters that go to the KBW gym and I also know a lot of people in the area, including Ifti Ifrahim (from 13 Nelson Street) who is one of the main sponsors of the show and Mocha (Mo Pandor).
“I go to a lot of amateur shows and I like giving my support.
“I was here once fighting on shows like this and remember when I first started people like Ricky Hatton and other professionals used to come and watch me fight as a young boy.
“I hope I can inspire these young fighters to work harder and one day become like me.
“All these guys deserve a lot of credit for getting into a ring and fighting in front of hundreds of people.
“They have had a lot of pressure on with friends and family here but I take my hat off to all the guys who have fought, whether they have won or lost.”
A junior fight between KBW’s Jerry White and Kai Hardaker of the Metro ABC, certainly impressed the former WBA and IBF light welterweight world champion as the pair produced the fight of the night.
Khan added: “Those two kids who fought in the first fight reminded me about myself. I always gave 100 per cent and went out to give it my all.
“I have been very fortunate to fight for world titles and become a world champion and I really see there is a lot of talent here and hopefully someone can follow in my footsteps.
“It is all about having role models and people to look up to.
“I know Gary Sykes has done a lot for Dewsbury and all the kids will be looking up to him and want to be like him, or fighters like myself, which is why it is always nice to come to these club events and give confidence to these young kids and tell them they are doing a great job.”
Just hours after leaving the Dewsbury show, Khan led a group of volunteers who travelled to Carlisle to assist the flood victims in Cumbria.