Boxing: Khan stays amateur for now

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The Independent Online

Amir Khan remains an amateur - for the time being. The Olympic silver medallist said yesterday that he was happy to retain his status, amid growing speculation that he will soon turn professional.

The 18-year-old, who has pulled out of Saturday's ABA Championship quarter-finals in Gorleston, Norfolk, ostensibly after a row over the allocation of tickets, said: "Am I turning professional? Not that I know. Asif [Vali, his manager] and my dad are talking to people but nothing has been said. I'm still amateur and I'm looking forward to staying amateur and boxing."

Vali confirmed that the ABA had been in touch to increase the ticket allocation to Khan's supporters but said it came too late. "Last night the ABA did phone me to say 'these are the ticket allocations - now are you going to box?' But it's not as easy as that," he said. "We've told the press that we're pulling out and then they expect Amir to go back and fight on that day, I don't think that's fair."

The promoter Frank Warren confirmed yesterday he was in ongoing negotiations with Khan's team. "Of course I am in negotiations with Amir and I have always said he should turn professional," he said. "We have met quite a few times and I am confident of striking a deal."