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Schaefer Believes in Amir Khan's Ability To Unite People

WASHINGTON – Britain’s Amir Khan, a talented world boxing champion on an eight-fight win streak, could also play an important role in combating anti-Muslim prejudice, according to his US promoter.

“He has the character and the background to unite the cultures very well,” said Golden Boy Promotions chief executive officer Richard Schaefer. “He has what it takes to be that ambassador, to unify countries and people.”

Khan, 26-1 with 18 knockouts, will defend his World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation light-welter weight titles in Washington on Saturday against hometown hero Lamont Peterson, 29-1-1 with 15 knockouts.

Khan, who turns 25 on Thursday, took the gamble of fighting in his rival’s hometown after a visit to the US capital in September as a special guest of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

During that visit, the Englishman of Pakistani heritage took part in a dinner paying tribute to Muslim athletes to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.

“It was a big thing to be invited by the secretary of state,” Khan said. “It was a tremendous honor when you think of how many Muslims there are in the world and how many big sports stars there are.

“It was an opportunity to send out some good messages, for people to respect who we are. I’ve never been shy of speaking about my religion.”

Schaefer and Golden Boy boss Oscar de la Hoya are pushing Khan to the next level in boxing, with a likely rise to the welterweight division in 2012 setting up a potential showdown with unbeaten US star Floyd Mayweather.

But Schaefer would not be surprised to see Khan follow the path of Filipino star Manny Pacquiao, a member of Congress in his homeland who has aspirations of one day serving as president.

“He might not be like Manny, running for president, but I think he has a tremendous future in politics as well,” Schaefer said.

“That (Clinton’s invitation) shows he is being recognized at the highest level to be such an ambassador.”

Khan, who took a lightweight silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics, works alongside Pacquiao at times in trainer Freddie Roach’s Los Angeles gymnasium. But so far, he says the political urge has not hit him.

“I’m a normal guy. I’m going to stay away from politics,” Khan said. “There is a lot of stuff happening in the Middle East and Pakistan, but I don’t want to get into it too much.

“I like helping people, doing charitable work, making things better.”

Khan has given to charity, helping raise $125,000 for “Islam Help” in September to bring food, water and medicine to needy areas in drought-stricken East Africa.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by edgarg on 12-09-2011

I don't believe that people dislike Khan becaise he's a Muslim. If they do they are ignorant . They dislike him because of what he is, as against what he projects himself to be. They also dislike and fear Muslims…

Comment by AzteK Warrior on 12-09-2011

Schafer's job is to keep hyping Khan to the extreme. Make dumb people think that Khan is one of the best out there even when he has not tested himself against the best out there. They want to milk him…

Comment by whatismyname on 12-09-2011

[QUOTE=komandante;11537489]That's what Ricky Hatton did before unite the Britons, but after Pac knocked him out he goes to coke and then rehab.:sad6:[/QUOTE] So you're not human? You never made any mistakes? Ricky's fans were annoying, but he is still the…

Comment by reetcunt on 12-09-2011

[QUOTE=hougigo;11537515]Wahhhh, people don't like me because i'm Muslim[/QUOTE] I guess reading comprehension isn't your strong suit

Comment by Hougigo on 12-09-2011

Wahhhh, people don't like me because i'm Muslim

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