ISLAMABAD: Boxer Amir Khan denied critics which said he would represent Pakistan at the Rio Games, clarifying that he only wanted to boost the sport in his parents’ country of birth.
But the Bolton-born fighter also admitted he would not be willing to face an accompanying two-year ban from the World Boxing Council that would jeopardise his professional career, making an Olympic appearance unlikely.
Speaking to AFP in an exclusive interview in Islamabad, where he launched his first boxing academy on Saturday, Khan said he was a “proud British fighter” who had represented his country at the Athens Games and would therefore not want to deprive fellow Brits of a ticket to Rio De Janeiro.
“I’m not doing it because I’m not happy being British. I’m a proud British fighter, but it’s the way people took it out of context and calling me a traitor — I meant it in a way that I’d rather give someone else an opportunity instead because Pakistan has no boxers,” he said.
“But, you know, at the moment we are just waiting and seeing. I don’t think I’ll be allowed to do that anyway because obviously, the WBC, they won’t allow it.”