Amir Khan, boxer
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The Times of India, Oct 31 2015
Feel safe in India, want to promote sports
Amir Khan, British boxer of Pakistani origin, wants to see India and Pakistan fans come together
Olympic silver medallist (at 17!) is usually in a quandary over whom to support when England plays Pakistan, he became Britain's youngest-ever Olympic medallist and promptly turned professional. Despite all the talent and pop ularity , the big ticket breakthrough fight doesn't seem to happen. He has learnt to live with not being `chosen' to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. Then there's the uncertainty over the much-desired Manny Pacquiao meeting in 2016, with Amir declaring, almost with a sense of desperation, that he is the front-runner to challenge the legendary Filipino. In 2006, there was that famous interview when novelist and playwright Hanif Kureishi visited him in Bolton. A 19-year-old Amir, fresh from signing a professional contract, spoke of how he would be thinking of retirement at 27 or 28. At 28, Amir laughs it off.“Hey I was just 19 then. You don't look that far ahead.My body seems better today than five years ago. I have a good 10 years in the tank,“ he exclaims. Today , a decade later, he is also aware of his responsibility of the multiple Amir Khans that he carries within his persona ¬ British Muslim dispelling growing suspicion of Muslims worldwide to a global symbol of Asian sporting excellence. “I get pulled over (at airports) in the US because my name pops up and they say it's a routine check. I'm 100% against terrorism and killing people. And I also stand up against all that being a Pakistani-Muslim British guy . Quran doesn't tell you to kill innocent peo ple. These are things that some silly people do. People need to get on with each other. Boxing does that, i brings people together. It has done that for me.“ Somewhere, Ali-like, the dream is to become the People's Champion. Through his Amir Khan Foundation, which has helped carry out a lot of work in Pakistan during the floods and earthquake. The current plan, though, is the setting up of academies.