“If you want to achieve something in life, you need to work hard. It’s all to do with hard work. It’s about having a dream and chasing that dream. If you lose, you should work harder. Chase your dreams.”
These were the words that boxer Amir Khan, fresh from a weekend in Las Vegas which had seen him retain his WBC Silver Welterweight title, delivered to 200 Bolton School boys aged seven to 11 years. Addressing the Junior School, he told them that boxing had taught him discipline and how to behave. His family had encouraged him from an early age to join the gym to burn off his extra energy after he had finished his school and mosque studies. He advised the youngsters to revise, work hard and study.
In an engaging question and answer session, Khan recalled how he had achieved his dream early in life when he became the youngest British Olympic boxing medallist, picking up a silver medal in the Athens 2004 games.
He told the boys that boxing is like a game of chess and it is important to have your feet in the right position. Utilising one of the boys, he showed the audience how difficult it can be to fight a “south paw” (a left-handed boxer) as the pugilists’ feet can clash. Recapping his career, he admitted it is hard boxing in front of thousands of people and that you need to deliver a punch-perfect performance. Prior to a fight, he said, he has a mixture of nerves and excitement but as soon as the bell rings the adrenalin kicks in and he focuses on the job to be done.