AMIR Khan has opened up for the first time about how he fought off 20 thugs armed with crowbars in a terrifying car jacking he feared would end his boxing career.
The former world champ says being attacked by the armed gang trying to steal his £100,000 Range Rover made him determined to change his life and fight crime in lawless Britain.
Boxer Amir Kahn has described the night he was attacked by 20 thugs armed with crowbars[/caption]
The gang were trying to steal his £100,000 Range Rover[/caption]
Amir, 32, spoke out about the attack outside a Birmingham club in 2012 as he backed our Beat The Blades campaign to tackle the stabbing epidemic plaguing our streets.
In an exclusive interview from the Bolton gym where he helps troubled youngsters, Amir told The Sun on Sunday: “It was really scary because I knew my life was on the line.
“When you are in a situation like that you have to react quickly or you are going to get hurt. There were about 20 guys, all with metal bars.
“I remember the first guy swinging this metal stick at my head but luckily he missed. He tried a second time and I countered him. He was out cold.
Amir managed to escape the terrifying attack without injury[/caption]
“Then another guy came at me but I was able to tackle him as well.
“Then the three of us [Amir, his boxer brother Haroon and another man] drove off as fast as we could.
“People might say I was a coward for running away but I am happy I did, because I am still here. Those guys were big and out to hurt me.”
The masked gang later posted a video online showing off designer goods they claimed to have stolen from the star.
One of the thugs shouts at Amir: “I’ll rip your f***ing head off.”
Amir said: “I can’t remember what they stole but we were definitely targeted. It was scary and it made me think about things.
“If I had stayed it could have been the end of my boxing career.
“It also made me want to do more to stop people getting into crime because I never want my daughters to experience violence like that.”
Amir is dad to daughter Lamaisah, four, and eight-month-old Alayna with wife Faryal Makhdoom[/caption]
Amir, dad to Lamaisah, four, and eight-month-old Alayna, today also opens up about his battle to keep his five-year marriage to American Faryal Makhdoom, 27, on track.
The sportsman invited The Sun on Sunday to his Amir Khan Academy to demonstrate the work he is doing to help keep kids off the street.
As well as offering boxing lessons to a dozen regulars, he brings in youngsters from local schools to give them advice on staying out of trouble.
Amir said: “I stayed on the right path when I was younger because I took up sport at an early age.
The Amir Khan Academy helps keeps kids off the streets[/caption]
“I was just eight when I started boxing and if you learn how to punch a bag you don’t want to fight when you get out on the street.
“I have friends who got much better grades than me at school and I assumed they would go on and get good jobs.
“But some of them got mixed up with drugs and guns and they ended up in jail. That could’ve been me.
“I’m still friends with those people but I don’t like to think about the young people in my area going the same way.
The Academy offers boxing lessons to a dozen regulars and brings in youngsters from local schools to give them advice on staying out of trouble[/caption]
“I have three coaches at my gym and I try to get involved as much as I can. We train them how to box and we also talk to them about life.
“I always tell them, ‘If you hang around on street corners it is hard not to make mistakes’.
“On the streets it is all about reputation and it is too easy to go from carrying a knife to stabbing someone.
“We’ve already helped a few kids on the verge of joining a gang to turn their lives around. I only wish I could work with more schools across the country.”
Amir has already helped some kids turn their lives around[/caption]
Amir is still trying to put his own house in order following a series of cheating scandals that threatened to tear apart his marriage to Faryal.
He said: “I made mistakes in the past and put my wife through some difficult times.
“I came very close to losing Faryal a year ago and that was a huge wake-up call, because my family is all that matters to me.
“I know how close I was to her walking out the door and not being able to see my kids again. That made me realise what I want out of life.
“I just want peace and happiness. I’m too old to be driving fast cars and going out partying.
“The boys have to force me to go to nightclubs now. It used to be the other way around.
“I’m a much stronger person as a result of what happened and my favourite thing in the world is to be at home with my family.
“Faryal and I are like best friends, we are very loved-up. We hang out all the time and she travels with me whenever she can.
“My daughters are just amazing. They are both so calm and well-behaved. The older one loves colouring books and when I go away for work they ask me to bring back princess dolls. I am away more than I want to be but everything I do is for my family.”
Amir has launched his own knife crime campaign, Ring The Changes, with financial trading broker ThinkMarkets.
As well as raising money, he has teamed up with the firm to promote a scheme that will give jobs to 100 young people from poor backgrounds.
Amir has also launched his own knife crime campaign, Ring The Changes, with financial trading broker ThinkMarkets[/caption]
Backing our own Beat The Blades drive to stop the scourge that has led to 131 killings in London alone this year, he said: “We can all do more to tackle this, your campaign is really good.
“I can’t believe how easy it is to buy weapons.
“I’ve seen huge knives for sale in the shop windows of ordinary stores close to where I live.
“There’s no way that should be allowed, and it is surprising how bad things have got in this country.
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“When I was younger people would fight but we never heard about guns or knives.
“Now shootings and stabbings happen all the time.
“It has got completely out of control.”
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