• Olympic boxing

Amateur scene to grow with funding, says Khan

ESPN staff
December 19, 2012 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »

Amir Khan believes UK Sport's 44.5% rise in funding for British boxing will ensure more fighters stay amateur for longer.

It was announced on Tuesday that boxing would receive £13.8 million for the cycle leading up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio - rising from £9.55 million for the London 2012 cycle.

Funding was re-allocated based on whether sports met their medal targets. Britain's boxers won five medals including three golds for Nicola Adams, Luke Campbell and Anthony Joshua.

Khan was an Olympic silver medallist at 17 when he competed in the lightweight division at the 2004 Games in Athens.

But a year later he turned professional and after his recent defeat of Carlos Molina in Los Angeles his career record stands at 27-3.

Khan says that a lot has changed since he represented Great Britain but he still believes the best British talent will turn professional eventually, but extra funding will extend the time they stay amateur.

"I remember when I was younger at the Olympics, there was hardly any funding there and it just showed; there was only me who qualified and I was only 17 at the time," Khan told Sky Sports News.

"Then four years after there was funding [and] that's when we had around about four to six fighters and now in the last Olympics we had a full team and a couple of gold medals and the first ever woman to win that gold medal and it shows that amateur boxing is doing good.

"I think it's great that they are getting funding because that's how they are going to get the best fighters to stay amateur and win a medal for us in the Olympics and then turn professional."

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