British-born former world super-lightweight champion Amir Khan has opened the door to representing Pakistan at this summer’s Olympics after boxing bosses announced that professional fighters will be eligible to compete at the Games.
The International Boxing Association has confirmed the rule change, which previously stipulated that only amateur boxers could compete, following an extraordinary congress at Lausanne in Switzerland.
“It’s a decision I welcome,” said Khan, who won silver for Great Britain at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. “If I am permitted as per rules and from my promoter then I would love to compete for Pakistan.
“I will be very happy if I can compete in the Olympics. I want to serve Pakistan.”
The British Boxing Board of Control have issued a statement condemning the move. It read: “It’s against the spirit of the Olympics, disrespectful to many GB amateur boxers and ultimately dangerous.”
Former world champion Carl Frampton was one of a number of eminent fighters to express their opposition.
He said: “Professional boxers being allowed to fight in the Olympics is ridiculous. They’re two different sports. It’s like a badminton player playing tennis.”