Visa delay hits Amir Khan fight plans

First published in News

BOXER Amir Khan expects to get clearance to fight in America in the next two days.

In order to obtain a work visa so he can defend his WBA light-welterweight title in New York on Saturday, May 15, the Bolton champion has been forced to move from his Hollywood base in California to Vancouver, Canada.

The 23-year-old has taken his coach, Freddie Roach, and a sparring partner with him to his new camp, where he had an interview for his work visa at the American Consulate last week.

“It has taken a lot longer than we had hoped, but we expect good news in the next couple of days,” said his father, Shah Khan.

“The delay is nothing to do with his motoring convictions as has been reported. It is because of his name.

“Because of what happened on 9/11, Amir gets stopped every time we come into the country.

Officials are on alert and because of his name they have to carry out certain checks.

“He always gets interviewed and is asked which countries he has visited, but now they know him and know who he is, the interviews are not as rigorous.

“But with a visa application there are certain checks that have to be made and it takes time. I don’t blame them and we have nothing to hide.”

He added: “We knew all along that he would have to leave America to apply for a visa but we had hoped it would have been completed earlier than this.”

Amir and his coach are hoping to focus on the fight, but their plans to move to New York to put the final touches to his training could be in jeopardy if the application is delayed any longer.

Amir’s fight will be shown live on ITV1 in the early hours of the morning.

● Mr Khan declined to comment on newspaper claims that Amir allegedly sent explicit text messages to a glamour model.

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