Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Quiet Life Ideal for Khan Plan; Amir Focused on Boxing Ahead of Newcastle Date

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Quiet Life Ideal for Khan Plan; Amir Focused on Boxing Ahead of Newcastle Date

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner

AMIR Khan has become a boxing saddo, and he loves it. Only 22, super-rich, world famous and an Olympic silver medalist, if the Muslim touched the stuff, he need never buy a drink in Bolton again.

But with a celebrity lifestyle beckoning, Khan fled the country, setting up home in Los Angeles knowing he would be a very small fish in the big pond the likes of the Beckhams call home.

Little wonder that when Khan made his first trip to the renowned party city that is Newcastle yesterday, he did not hang around.

A man who has lived in the glare of a million flashbulbs in recent years is proud to have turned his back on the bright lights.

"It's nice sometimes to be bored," says Khan, who will be back on December 5 to defend his WBA light-welterweight title against mandatory challenger Dmitriy Salita at Newcastle Arena. "All I do is sleep and boxing."

Officially Khan turned professional in May 2005, but he says it was actually September 6, 2008. That was the night Breidis Prescott's left fist delivered a firstround knockout, a huge blow to his reputation and a potentially fatal one to his career.

Khan sees it as the making of him after a career in the comfort zone.

"The defeat did me the world of good," he says of his only professional defeat. "If you'd have said to me after the defeat that within three fights I'd be a world champion, I wouldn't have thought that would happen.

"I went to LA, changed my focus, changed my trainer (to the legendary Freddie Roach) and have become a professional fighter.

"I'm taking the sport more professionally. You need to do that because boxing is a sport where one punch can change a fight, as you saw in my defeat. That's the point where I changed from a boy to a man.

"I love it out there. The weather is nice and I can just mind my own business and chill out. …

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