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Boxer Amir Khan: The Most Interesting Champ in the World

Before he took on Lamont Peterson, the British bruiser got in the ring with Men's Fitness.

DISCIPLINE
Khan trains for 10 weeks, six days a week to prepare for a fight. “It's a full-time job when I'm here. No distractions. Just focus on training, working hard. Just eat, sleep, boxing, really.” Khan, like all professional athletes, also puts extra emphasis on his diet. “We have our cheat days here and there; that helps you out mentally, [but] we do watch the diet. And especially two weeks before the fight. It's like a car; you're not going to put the wrong fuel in a car, so it's like putting the right fuel in your body.”

Khan admits boxers don't have sex before fights.

As for that widely reported myth that boxers abstain from sex before fights? Amir reveals, “It's true. Fighters shouldn't have sex a couple of weeks before a fight. You need as much energy in your body as possible to be at the top of your game. You need to [make] a lot of sacrifices. And it's worth it, because to be announced the winner after a fight, it's the best feeling ever.”

AMBITIONS OUTSIDE THE RING
Despite his strict regimen, Khan is quick to say he isn't an automaton who only knows how to punch guys so hard they puke up their own livers. “I'm a chill guy. I'm quiet. I never go around saying I'm a tough guy,” he says, preferring to nurse low-key hobbies than flash his status in swanky clubs. “I like to hang out with my friends. I like cars. I like watches. I like spending time with my family, going on holidays and exploring new things.” And it frustrates him that his new found fame means he can't maintain his quiet lifestyle in his native U.K. anymore. “I can't walk the streets. I can't go anywhere. It's a nice thing sometimes when you can be yourself and chill. That's the reason I like training here in America because I'm left to do my training and no one really bothers me.”

And to ensure that he doesn't develop a world champion ego, he turns to charity work. “I love helping because I like to stay positive and not many sportsmen do that. I build schools in Third World countries and hospitals and stuff. I've built a boxing center in Bolton, where I'm from, which keeps the kids off the street." He explains, "Because boxing changed my life forever, so I want to change all the kids' lives by having a boxing gym there—keeping them off the streets, keeping them away from the police, giving them discipline. There's computers there. They can come and do their homework there. It's in a deprived area, so not all kids can afford computers and use the Internet.”

Amir Khan may be young, but he's wise beyond his years. “I'd like to pass this message across to young people out there—anything in life is achievable.” he says. Whether you enjoy the sport of boxing or not, Khan's inspirational words ring true—work hard and train hard, and you'll never be down for the count.

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