Promoters dangle rewards of Olympic glory before Khan

Amir Khan, the 17-year-old boxer, says his Olympic heroics will change little in his life. Promoters think otherwise.

When a fresh-faced Amir Khan strode out of the Peristeri stadium in Athens yesterday, an Olympic silver medal draped round his neck, he insisted that little in his life was going to change.

When a fresh-faced Amir Khan strode out of the Peristeri stadium in Athens yesterday, an Olympic silver medal draped round his neck, he insisted that little in his life was going to change.

The 17-year-old from Bolton was going to take a few weeks' rest and then resume his sports development course at college and try to pass his driving test, while at all times "keeping his feet on the ground".

However, as he spoke those words yesterday afternoon, the voicemail on his mobile phone had reached capacity, full of messages from well-wishers, but also with offers from boxing promoters and sponsors who see him, in earnings potential, as a real heavyweight.

Last night, an investment bank was believed to be putting the finishing touches to a proposed sponsorship deal which would see their name emblazoned on the fighter's kit.

He will not be eligible to turn professional until his 18th birthday in December and repeated, after his defeat by Cuban Mario Kindelan, his desire to retain that status until the next Games in Beijing in 2008, but that will not deter the suitors.

Britain's leading promoter, Frank Warren, is due to sit down with Khan and his father Sajaad next week to discuss a deal to tie him in with a broadcaster. The sums on offer would dwarf an earlier £10,000 bid by a Pakistani promoter.

But the smart money remains on him not turning professional until after the World Championships, also in Beijing, next year. "Khan is one of the best young fighters in the world and looks favourite for the world championships, after which he could command a £250,000 pricetag," said a source close to the Khan camp. "There would be little point of fighting on for another two years when you have that potential. He could also be a sound investment for sponsors as he is an exciting fighter who is also level-headed and educated."

Warren, considered the only promoter likely to land Khan's signature, would direct the latest addition to his stable of fighters towards a deal with Sky television. The satellite broadcaster would expect better value for money than the BBC received after spending £1m on a 10-fight deal with Audley Harrison after he won super heavyweight gold in Sydney four years ago but who has since failed to take on the best.

Assuming Khan does not turn professional immediately, he will hold talks next Monday with Sport England, distributors of lottery funds, to discuss a hike in his training purse. Khan can expect to see his funding rise from £13,000 to £18,000, a 10th of what a silver medal would be worth as a professional.

Others have warned Khan of the perils of turning professional in his teens. Nicky Piper, a former amateur turned super middleweight who is now director of the British Boxing Board of Control, said: "A promoter would put £5,000 in his pocket and give him a £50,000 basic salary, which would be a huge temptation.

"But if he gets a decent agent the money would tide him over to stay in the amateur ranks. The danger is his career could go backwards if he becomes a pro at such a young age."

Yesterday, Khan said he has a "lot to catch up on", including his studies and driving lessons, which have both been neglected after two months dedicated to the Olympics.

Before that, a civic reception is planned for him in Bolton and next Saturday he will take to the pitch as his beloved Bolton Wanderers take on Manchester United at the Reebok Stadium.

"I'm six assignments behind in college and I don't want to be in trouble with the teachers. I'm sure they will think it is worth it when I get back. I've also got to pass my driving test, so there is a lot to catch up on. I just want to stay as I am and keep my feet on the ground" Khan said.

"I am going to stay an amateur until I am 22 because when I turn professional I will be more mature and stronger and have more behind me."

Khan's silver medal performance was watched yesterday by Olympic champion sprinters Darren Campbell, Marlon Devonish and the British badminton squad, as well as a large group of friends and family.

"There were about 10 family and friends for the early rounds but today there were about 50 and and I don't know where they all came from. It was great support but I don't know who half of them were" Khan said.

His father Sajaad Khan said: "I'm so proud of him. He is a boy who fought like a man. He's relaxed, he's not hurt and he's not upset. He'll be back in training soon but first Bolton is going to throw one big party for him."

Asked about the reception he expects in Bolton, Amir said: "I am ready for the support and I can't wait to get home. It's been a long two weeks and I have been training very hard."

Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvAs the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian on why he'll never bow to critics who habitually circle his work
News
news
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
news
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey outside Mo Nabbach’s M&M Hair Academy in west London before the haircut
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Sport
Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
sportMan City 2 Sunderland 2: Keeper flaps at Nasri's late leveller, but Black Cat striker's two goals in 10 minutes had already done damage
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
News
peopleRyan Gosling says yes, science says no. Take the A-list facial hair challenge
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
News
Paul Weller, aka the Modfather, performing at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival in Newport
people
Arts & Entertainment
Play It Forward: the DC Record Fair in Washington, US
musicIndependent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads on Record Store Day
Sport
video
News
Supermarkets are running out of Easter Eggs
Deals make eggs cheaper than normal chocolate
Life & Style
Wasp factory: 1.3 million examples of the Vespa scooter have been sold in the last decade
motoringIconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales
Voices
voicesThe Ukip leader on why he's done nothing illegal
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week
10 best activity books for children

10 best activity books for children

Keep little ones busy this bank holiday with one of these creative, educational and fun books