Boxing champion Amir Khan was ‘honoured’ to be awarded a Doctor of Letters by Manchester Metropolitan University for his sporting success and charity work.
The former Olympian was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Malcolm Press on Monday (July 25), recognising his success inside the ring but outside of it too.
Graduates heard about Amir’s meteoritic rise through the ranks of British boxing to win an Olympic silver medal, aged just 17, in the 2004 Olympic games.
Further glory followed as he turned professional, becoming one of the youngest-ever British world champions and unifying the world titles on his way to international stardom.
The ceremony, held in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, also heard about the Bolton boxer’s tireless commitment to charity that is ‘transforming lives and empowering communities around the world’.
Amir said: “I feel really honoured to be here today to get this doctorate. I’m a boxer and I want to be good at what I do but there is more than that – and people see more than that. There’s all the charity work and it is great to be recognised for that.
“It gives me a very warm feeling. I’ve always said I wanted to be a people’s champion and recognition like this – getting honoured – it’s going to help make me a people’s champion. I don’t want to be seen as just a boxer but also a good person outside of the boxing ring as well.”
Amir has worked with charities that includes Oxfam, helping to deliver aid to communities in Kashmir and Pakistan as well as flood-hit Cumbria.
Through his charitable organisation, the Amir Khan Foundation, Amir supports projects in countries around the world and is currently working towards building an orphanage in the Gambia.
In addition to this, Amir – a multilinguistic – partnered Manchester Met to support the Mother Tongue Other Tongue poetry project that celebrates the cultural diversity and the variety of languages spoken in UK schools.
He added: “I came to the University for the Mother Tongue Other Tongue project which was amazing because I didn’t realise how many other languages there are spoken in Manchester.
“It’s great that Manchester Met give these opportunities to youngsters, the elderly and all their students to get involved and learn new languages.
“That was the first time I’d connected with Manchester Met but I’m sure that we’re going to carry that relationship over and hopefully we are going to do more together in the future.”
"I dont want to be seen as just a boxer but also a good person outside of the boxing ring as well."
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