Who is Amir Khan? Meet the I'm a Celebrity .... contestant

All you need to know about the former champion boxer and 2017 I'm A Celebrity.... contestant.

Amir Khan may be the king of the ring - but how will he shape up in his bid to be king of the Jungle?

We'll soon find out, as the 30-year-old former world light welterweight boxing champion is one of the big-hitters taking part in this year's series of I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here.

[I'm a Celebrity: The full 2017 jungle line-up revealed]

Date of birth: 8th December 1986.

Phobias: Spiders, snakes and heights.

Missing any special occasion: My birthday and training.

Biggest misconception you want to dispel in the Jungle: People only ever see me in the boxing
ring. It will be nice to show people what I am like away from it.

Role in the camp: The leader. I will spur people on.

Miss most: My family and my daughter.

Dream camper: Drake and Floyd Mayweather would be amazing!

Relationship status: Married.

Khan first made his mark at the 2004 Athens Olympics when, aged just 17, he took time out from his sports development course at Bolton Technical College to win a silver medal in the lightweight division.

Within a year he had turned professional and won his first 18 fights before things went horribly wrong in his 19th bout - 30 seconds into the first defence of his WBO intercontinental lightweight title, Khan was floored, for the first time in his career, by Colombia's Breidis Prescott; the referee stopped the contest with just 54 seconds on the clock.

Khan then stepped up to the light-welterweight division and won the WBA world title, but three days after his 25th birthday lost his title to America's Lamont Peterson in controversial fashion, with the performance of the referee - in front of Peterson's hometown crowd in Washington - heavily criticised. Following the fight, Peterson failed a dope test and Khan had his belt restored, only to lose it in his next bout, against Danny Garcia.

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Khan's most recent bout - his 35th - was at middlweight, in Las Vegas in May 2006, where he was knocked out by Saul Alvarez. His professional record currently stands at 35 fights, 31 wins and four defeats.

The boxer has remained true to his Lancashire roots, and lives with his American-born wife Faryal and daughter Lamaisah in Lostock, just outside Bolton.

The couple were married at New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel in May 2013 and recently had a very public falling-out on social media, even announcing that they were splitting only to have now had a public reconciliation and also reveal that they are expecting their second child.

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Khan, a practicing Muslim, has invested £5m in an event venue at Washington Street in Bolton, but earlier this year he announced a possible change of plan, with the possibility of it becoming part of the local university or even a school.

He has also established his own Boxing Academy and the Amir Khan Foundation to help disadvantaged children, both in the UK and overseas.

Khan has already faced up to plenty of daunting foes and major challenges in his life, but how he deals with some of the delights Ant and Dec plan to throw at him in the Australian jungle remains to be seen.

Let the games begin....  

In his own words

Former world champion and British boxer, Amir Khan, readily admits going into the Jungle will be far tougher than fighting an opponent in a match as he reveals he is completely petrified of spiders, snakes and heights.

Smiling, the 30-year-old sportsman also predicts he will scream out loud when he’s confronted by his worst nightmare – coming face to face with an eight-legged insect.

“I am one guy who hates spiders,” he admits. “Whenever I see a spider at home, I get my sister to move it. I just don’t deal with it.

“I hope I don’t come across any of them when I am in the Jungle but I know I am going to. Will I scream? Yes definitely but maybe this is the time where I face my phobias! I also hate snakes and heights too.”

Explaining why he accepted the offer to take part in his first ever TV reality series, Amir – who will temporarily stop his boxing training to take on the challenge – says he thought it was a great chance to do something totally different and have a complete break from the outside world.

“I’ve been in boxing for a long time,” he says. “And I’ve got a fight next year but I wanted to give this a go. It’s very different to boxing and obviously I am not going to be punched in the face whilst I do this! I am most looking forward to getting away from the world and from everything, not having a phone, spending time with myself and getting to know some new people. It will also be nice to be able to say to my children ‘I did that.’“

That said; this is going to be harder than facing an opponent in a boxing match because it is out of my comfort zone. Boxing is something I have always done whereas this is going to be difficult. I’ve not done anything like this before and I don’t know what to expect.”

Although he reveals he has only seen the show a few times before – “And that was a while back now” – the boxer is determined to throw his weight around the camp.

“I’m not going to watch any of the previous series before I go in,” he declares. “I am going to deal with everything when I get there.

“I think my role in the Jungle will be as a leader who can lead people and stand up for everyone. I will be the peacemaker at the same time, push the team forward and not let them give up.”

“Cook? I can’t really cook but I’d rather give that a go than face the spiders!”

Describing himself as someone who is ‘chilled out who doesn’t like confrontation’, Amir thinks the fact he is involved in such a tough sport will help him face up to the challenge of living in a Jungle with basic rations. “With the sport I am in, I do need to be confident,” he adds. “Boxing has made me accept all challenges, to never give up and never be scared. I do think that in the Jungle, that’s
going to help.

“I think I will be ok with the food rations as well.”

Amir will turn 31 in the Jungle and he says he hopes his fellow campers will spring a special birthday treat on him. Aside from his luxury comforts, he is also going to miss his family terribly.

“They’ve been really supportive,” he says. “They’ve told me to chill out and enjoy it.”

How about his rigorous training routine? Will he miss not being in the ring? “I will miss the training but I will train in there,” says Amir.
“I am still at the peak of my career and I am going to take this chance and do it. It’s exciting.”

He thinks his fellow boxers will be envious. “I reckon they would love the chance to go in as well,” he says. “I don’t think they will have a problem with it.”

Amir also plans to embrace everything about camp life.

“It’s going to be fun and to win the series would be just brilliant. I will be King Khan!! King of the Jungle – now that’s a great name!”

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