BOLTON boxing superstar Amir Khan raised a staggering £218,000 at the launch of his new charity foundation.
The Amir Khan foundation was officially launched at a glamorous dinner event at the Hilton Hotel in Manchester tonight, with famous guests including comic host Omid Djalili and former Wanderers star Kevin Davies.
It aims to help underprivileged youngsters around the world.
Before the glittering event, Amir said setting up a charity is something he has always wanted to do.
He added: “I knew it would take a long time to set up and I knew I had to get the right people around me, but I always wanted to have my own foundation.
“I have been doing charity work for a long time, but I really wanted to start doing things hands on for myself — to see and experience it all for myself.”
A number of well-known faces, as well as 500 guests from across the country, joined Amir at the sell-out event, including TV presenter, Charlie Webster and basketball star, John Amaechi.
Amir said a recent trip to Gambia had inspired him to start the first project for the foundation, which will see an orphanage for up to 300 children built in the African nation.
He added: “Going to Gambia was amazing but the things we saw were heartbreaking, there was one family where 11 people were living in a small house with no roof — as tough as I am in the boxing ring I don’t think I could have lived there for one day.”
The former world champion said his Bolton-based community gym, Gloves in Prince Street, would now come under the umbrella of the foundation.
He added: “That gym has changed children’s lives — I have had headteachers tell me that naughty kids have turned their lives around and that makes me happy.
“The foundation will be looking at other projects in this country, because you can’t forget your roots in Bolton and in England.”
Attending the event, former Wanderers captain Kevin Davies who has his own charity, Kids of Bolton, said: “We have both supported each other in terms of charity over the years and it is great to see Amir launching his own foundation.
“He is a new father now and like with me, it can change you a bit, and makes you want to give more to others.
“He has already set up Gloves and it’s a great gym, when I was released from Bolton I went down there to train and the guys were great with me.
“I just hope that his charity work doesn’t make him too soft for his line of business.”