By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
HAROON KHAN has swapped the catwalk for the ring walk after delivering a KO to his toughest-ever opponent – his mum!
The younger brother of two-time world champion Amir admitted: “She wanted me to become a model and I had to sweet talk her around to my way of thinking!”
The 21-year-old won that battle and will now appear on the undercard of Amir’s fight with Julio Diaz in Sheffield on April 27.
But the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist told me: “It was one heck of a battle, with my mum saying ‘we’ve already got one fighter in the family – we don’t want two!’
“I did some modelling over Christmas and my mum wanted me to do that rather than boxing. I had to break the news to her over the phone because she wasn’t here at the time.
“It was the hardest thing I had to do but, now things have been sorted, I think she will be over the moon.”
Haroon’s mum Falak stopped watching Amir’s fights after his brutal first round knockout by Breidis Prescott in 2008.
And despite the 26-year-old former double light-welterweight champion’s success since then she was determined Haroon would never suffer the same punishment.
Haroon said: “The thing about my mum is that she just wants to know if we have come through our fights OK.
“She won’t come and watch but we will have to ring her in the hotel as soon as we get out of the ring.
“She is happy then and goes for a cuppa. Believe me, she is a tough opponent to face!
“But I managed to persuade her and, thankfully, she has agreed.”
Falak’s reluctant approval has now left Haroon on track to emulate his brother by becoming a world champion.
The super-flyweight said: “There aren’t too many fi ghters in my division right now so I honestly feel I can become British champion within 10 fights.
“World champion? Definitely. I have the talent and feel I can become a world champion. I have it in me and if I stay focused I know it can be achieved.
“I have always wanted to fight on the same bill as Amir and it promises to be a big night for me in front of 10,000 fans.
“I am capable of becoming a world champion after being an amateur for 10 years and learning so much from Amir.
“I want to keep active and box every two or three months. I will probably have around fi ve fi ghts this year and then, hopefully, be British champion next year.”
TICKETS for Amir Khan v Julio Diaz can be purchased from www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk or by calling 0114 256 5656.
The fight will be screened live on Box Nation (Sky Channel 437/Virgin Channel 546).