Boxer says he wants to inspire Muslims by being undisputed super-lightweight champ.
|Haroon Khan is representing Pakistan after English selectors rejected the Bolton-born boxer [GALLO/GETTY]|
Boxer Haroon Khan, brother of professional light-welterweight world champion Amir, said the England selectors who shunned him should be embarrassed after he guaranteed Pakistan a Commonwealth Games medal in the ring.
Tommy Stubbs was England’s representative in the 52kg flyweight category in Delhi but he was beaten in his first fight by Welshman Andrew Selby, who Khan edged in the quarter-finals on Saturday to earn at least a bronze.
“Yes, definitely,” the Khan told a swarm of mainly English media when asked if the country’s selectors should be embarrassed by their decision to overlook him.
“Whoever the selectors are, my job was to come here and prove them wrong which I have done. My aim was to get a medal, the 52 kilo English lad didn’t get it, I have got it,” said Khan, who spoke as quickly as he moved in the ring.
The rejection still grates the 19-year-old, born to Pakistani parents, who was desperately keen to fight the English boxer Stubbs.
“I had high hopes of facing him in this round because I had a perfect plan for him and I was confident I could have stopped him,” said Khan, who leapt around the ring in celebration after having his hand raised by the referee.
“I just wanted to get a medal to just prove, ‘look, I am good enough to be in that English squad’ … and I think I have done that”
Haroon Khan, Pakistan flyweight boxer
Dripping with sweat after the cagey bout where he countered his Welsh opponent’s jab with some useful footwork, Khan smiled as he told reporters of his delight at advancing further than Stubbs.
“I think whoever is being a (English) selector is not doing a great job,” he said. “I have seen so much talent out there and they are just not getting selected.
“I just wanted to get a medal to just prove, ‘look, I am good enough to be in that English squad’ … and I think I have done that.”
There was little love lost between the two fighters in the quarter-finals, with Khan unhappy at Selby’s trash talking ahead of the three-round contest which finished 3-3.
“I was bored so I went to the Internet cafe and started reading the media and saw Selby saying that he battered me (previously), well look what happened then,” he said.
Next up for Khan will be India’s Suranjoy Mayengbam, who was impressive in his victory over his Malaysian opponent Mohamed Subrie and was roared on by a three-quarters full partisan home crowd.
In the pool, Leisel Jones etched herself on to the list of Australian swimming greats with her 10th Commonwealth Games gold medal on Saturday to become the joint most successful athlete in the 80 years of the multi-sport event.
The 25-year-old swam a superb second leg in breaststroke to fire her team to victory in the 4x100m medley and take her place alongside fellow Australian swimmers Susie O’Neill and Ian Thorpe in achieving the feat.