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Khan: 'I get called a terrorist, a P***', and racial names like that on social media'

Khan also elaborated on his charity work, and why he is no longer ‘flashy’ on Instagram and other social media outlets.

Amir Khan at the Oleksandr Usyk v Tony Bellew fight.
Amir Khan at the Oleksandr Usyk v Tony Bellew fight.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

AMIR KHAN HAS revealed the extent to which he receives racist abuse online and explained why he has grown out of his ‘flashy’ ways of old.

In a wide-ranging interview with the Daily Mail in the UK, the 32-year-old former unified light-welterwieght world champion claimed “people are always going to point the finger” due to his being of Muslim faith, but reminded his naysayers that he has done more than most of them for his native Britain.

On being on the receiving end of racist remarks online, Khan told Jordan Seward: “I think at the end of the day what plays a big part in it is what’s happening around the world, especially with terrorism.

I’m not going to pretend that I have gotten it worse than anybody else. I actually think I’m luckier than others. But I get called a terrorist, a P*** and racial names like that on social media all the time. Me being a Muslim – and I’m totally against terrorism by the way – I think some people are always going to point the finger.

“At the end of the day, it’s what has been out there on the news and when people see stuff like that people are going to be like, ‘Oh yeah, Amir is one of them as well’.

“It’s definitely a social issue and not just a boxing one or sport one.

One thing I like to say to them [racists] is that I’m just as British as you. I was born here and have actually represented and won a medal [at the 2004 Olympics] and world titles for my country.

“I try to not let it get to me really,” Khan added. “I know I’m British and I know what I’m about. People can say what they want, if it makes them feel better then fine. I just try and focus on my boxing, that is what made me.”

Boxing - Arena Birmingham Amir Khan leaves the ring after beating Samuel Vargas in Birmingham. Source: Nick Potts

Khan, whose parents hail from Pakistan, told the Mail that it was upon seeing “poor people” on a visit there that he decided to begin doing charity work.

He began by donating large sums of money to various organisations before setting up the Amir Khan Foundation in 2014, which supports causes around the world.

In 2015, Khan helped to deliver life-saving emergency aid to Syrian refugees who were arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos, and he now travels to other continents in order to further his altruistic work as well as helping to feed homeless people back home.

The Bolton man claimed that this charity work has allowed him to ‘grow up’ — even over the last year.

“I think all these high-profile people — every person from Instagram models, to YouTube stars or a sportsman or actor or actress — I think they should do a little bit of charity in their lives,” he said.

“I hope that if I could speak to them – I would love to speak to them and say, ‘Look, even just do a little bit’.

I realise I’m very fortunate to be in this position. I could be selfish with it; I could have Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bugattis — any car you name, I could have, but I have chosen not to live that life.

“I could just be sat at home but I’m not. I know how to use my profile in the right way.

I used to spend like £60,000 on watches all the time too. I remember after the Olympics, I would walk in the street and people would ask for my autograph. I started getting recognised and invited to all these big events that you see on the TV.

“I went to a lot of TV shows and events and was around a lot of famous people. I had David Beckham come over to me and shake my hand and he said, ‘I watched the Olympics, you did a great job’. And, like, that to me was like, ‘Wow’ — someone who I had been watching all my life.

“It definitely affected me. I was young. I was just a boy at 17 and suddenly I was getting paid a lot of money when I first turned pro. I never even had a job, I worked a couple of weekends doing the odd job here and there earning a couple of hundred quid but suddenly I was on thousands of pounds. I look back and I’m embarrassed because I was flashy and I was being like that. I’ve stopped all that and I have changed over time like everyone does.

I’m not a big fan of showing things off on social media anymore — nice watches and things like that. I just think it’s sad when people do that. I blame myself because looking back I was doing that and I have learned from less fortunate people out there that they can’t afford even a chance to see those things and I don’t want to be one of those people who rub it in their faces and be like, ‘Oh, I have got this and this car and that’.

“It doesn’t mean anything when you buy something,” Khan added. “It doesn’t make you any better. People may think for a split second, ‘Wow’, but that’s it. After that, it’s done, while you’ve just spent another £60,000. It’s not worth it.

“I’m very smart now: if I am going to spend that money, I will just get a flight to a poor country and use my money towards feeding them. I get more out of doing that.”

Khan stands to earn up to $5m for his fight with Crawford, which is expected to be confirmed at a press conference in London today.

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