Khan: ‘I’m slated because of my race’

LION HEART: Amir Khan can't understand why he is constantly criticized in Britain when he is so patriotic

BOLTON’S Amir Khan has said that his skin colour is one of the reasons that he is constantly criticised on internet forums.

The boxer, who was speaking on the eve of his 90-second victory against New Yorker Dmitriy Salita, claimed that he was booed in Manchester when he defeated famous Mexican veteran Marco Antonio Barrera and has still been criticised despite winning the WBA light-welterweight title from Andreas Kotelnik partly because of racial and religious slurs that still exist in Britain.

“I think it’s probably from jealousy, and I can honestly say sometimes skin colour does make a difference,” Khan told The Telegraph, “I know if I maybe was a white fighter, an English fighter, maybe I would have been a superstar in Britain, or even in the world.

“You don’t really see it a lot, I never get racial remarks but it is always out there. You can’t stop it, it’s one of those things but you live and learn from what people are like. I just choose to ignore them and get on with my career.”

World champion Khan, who fought at the Athens Olympics for Britain, claims these slurs are also one of the reasons why he chose to train under Freddie Roach in Hollywood where success is celebrated rather than criticized.

“I have Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and others coming into the gym to watch me train. I’m a fan of theirs. I’m just left alone in the United States to get on and do what I do best. I want to go on a be a great champion.

“I’ve never really experienced the racism first hand, or in my face, but I’ve seen it on websites and chat forums. I’d rather stay away from those arguments. I just love sport and choose to ignore it.

“I’m proud to be British, it is a very small minority who say that, it does hurt you, but in a way it has pushed me all the way in my career. I represented GB in the Olympic Games, I won a medal for Britain, and I’d even say I won a world title for Britain. Sometimes you don’t see the appreciation.”

Khan, 23, made his professional debut a week after the London 7/7 bombings  and walked to the ring to ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ while rapped in a Union Jack, which was his idea.

“I’m doing it just to fix things between the Asian communities and English communities. There will always be racial things there and not getting on with each other, and I’m trying to break that barrier. I believe in peace.

“I’m also British. I went to the Olympics for Britain. I could have chosen to go there for Pakistan. I’m a Muslim, but I respect other religions and other cultures.”

Manchester Mouth recently published an article about the racism Salita received from the crowd during his fight with Khan. To view the article click here.

What is Britain’s problem?

Say what you want about Khan it won’t affect his record, his determination or the fact he has earned his success.

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