Khan, a former two-time world champion, WBA Super and IBF Light weight titles, was in The Gambia as guest of Penny Appeal, an international charity active across the region with headquarters in Banjul.
Khan who became the youngest British Olympic medalist when he took silver in 2004 visited Jalanbantang and other projects of Penny Appeal during his short visit. He told The Standard over dinner at The Clay Oven that: “I am glad I discovered The Gambia and would use my fame and influence to help alleviate some of the poverty I found here especially in the future of the children. So, I intend to set up an orphanage in The Gambia through the Amir Khan Foundation.” He further revealed that his foundation will stage a fund-raising event in Bolton, his base, where he intends to invite other celebrities for the Gambia orphanage.
Speaking about boxing, Khan said his next fight will be in December and he was preparing for that in big a way. He also said, in a chat with Gambian boxing president Alieu Jallow, that he was prepared to help Gambian boxing through arrangement for training, provision of materials among other things. Khan said for a start he would challenge the Gambian authorities to provide a piece of land and a gymnasium and he would do his best to help The Gambia produce good boxers. “We would need to use the local media to feature boxing fights for the young ones to be inspired,” he said.
Khan also teased that with his new-found love affair with The Gambia, it is not impossible for him to bring one of his fights to The Gambia. “Muhamed Ali rumbled in the jungle in 1974 bringing much publicity to Zaire and I can do similar things to bring The Gambia to the attention of the world, especially for your tourism,” he joyfully concluded.
Abass Hydara of Penney Appeal expressed delight that they have been able to lure “the great boxer” to come to The Gambia.
“We shall work hand-in-glove with the Amir Khan Foundation as the implementors of the entire projects here.”
Khan whose family originate from Pakistan said he hope to be back in The Gambia in December.]]>