Amir Khan: we don't want our world title fight hijacked by religious groups
Amir Khan admitted on Tuesday that Dmitriy Salita is "one of the most respectful opponents" he has faced, insisting that the world title fight on Saturday night must not be hijacked by religious groups pushing it as Jew v Muslim.
By Gareth A Davies
Published: 9:35PM GMT 01 Dec 2009
"Salita has been incredibly respectful," Khan told Telegraph Sport
"He might come across as aggressive but he is one of the most respectful opponents I have ever met. We are both professional sportsmen, this is elite sport, and the fight had to be made [because Salita is the mandatory challenger].
I know he is coming to fight for my world title belt. We respect each other's religion.
"We don't want the fight to be hijacked by religious groups. Everyone knows we are two men who look on this as sport."
The 22 year-old from Bolton, who now trains in Hollywood, admitted that being a boxer "can be very lonely" but that his faith in Islam keeps him strong.
"I take my religion and my sport very seriously. I don't drink, I don't smoke. Religion helps my boxing, and spiritually and mentally it helps me to relax, to know God is on my side."