TWO-TIME World champion Amir Khan will spearhead the development of boxing in the Middle East under the World Boxing Council (WBC) Middle East Continental Federation through tailored development projects in affiliated countries.
Khan, the current president of the newly formed WBC Middle East Boxing Council and senior vice president Tahir (Taz) will lead the project, said WBC President Mauricio Sulaimán.
According to a statement, Khan will further commit to the long-term project when he moves with his family from his native home in Bolton, England, to the Middle East where he will oversee the work of his team as they embark on the landmark project.
Khan,33, with his experience in every facet of boxing places, has a long-term, strategic vision for the evolution and advancement of the sport and has pledged his commitment to developing the sport for future generations in the region.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be appointed as the President of the WBC Middle East Boxing Council by Mauricio and the WBC to head up this incredible and historic project to establish and develop boxing in the region.It has long been a dream of mine and Maurcio’s father José, who I consider a dear friend, and I’m delighted to bring our vision to reality with the aim of producing great and proud Champions from the region, but to also return back to the community with health, welfare, education, through the excellent humanitarian work by the WBC Cares programme,” said Khan.
“The ground work has already started. We planted the seed with my fight against Billy Dib in Jeddah last year which was an historic moment for the region to be the first Muslim boxer to fight for a title. Now with a WBC Middle East Council coming into operation, it will pave the way for big-name fighters and high profile events to be staged there and for boxers in the region to have similar opportunities.”
Khan’s first foray in the region saw him achieve his dream of fighting in the Middle East in July 2019 when he defeated Billy Dib at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to win the Vacant WBC International Welterweight title. It was a history-making event that saw over 10,000 fans attend and the first time a Muslim professional boxer challenged for a Championship title in The Kingdom.
Khan has experienced everything in his twentities in boxing from the amateur code, where he captured an Olympic Silver Medal in 2004 at just 17. Later, he won a multitude of titles – including the WBC Silver and International belts – and two World titles, defeating fighters of his generation.
He also heads his own promotional organization, experience in negotiating big fights with top promoters, securing agreements with international TV broadcasters, to liaising with governing bodies, managers and fighters.
His Amir Khan Foundation helps to improve the lives of millions of disadvantaged children around the world.
The projects in the Middle East will not solely be focused on just the big fights but through the worldwide WBC Cares initiative countries will benefit from the experience and resources to enhance health and fitness, school and education, women’s boxing and tackling major health issues such as obesity, a statement said.