Boltonian Amir Khan has paid tribute to a boxing champion he fought 17 years ago.

Willie Limond, a former British and Commonwealth champion from Scotland, has died aged 45.

The boxer died nine days after he was found in an unresponsive state in a car in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, on April 6, amid preparations for a fight.

The dad-of-three, who grew up in Garthamlock in Glasgow’s East End, was also described as “an infectious character”.

He took up the sport aged six, and fought a “life-changing” high-profile fight with Amir in London in 2007, which he lost.

Limond made his professional boxing debut in 1999 and won 42 of his 48 fights, and raised two sons who are also boxers.

In an interview, Limond said he asked Khan for a rematch when their paths crossed nearly a decade later.

His family announced his death in an Instagram post.

Amir posted a touching tribute on his Instagram page.

He said: “Just a short video today about a former opponent who I faced back in 2007 for the commonwealth title.

“It was my first major title for a professional boxer, and I boxed against a guy called Willie Limond.

The Bolton News: Willie Limond put Amir Khan on the canvas (Nick Potts/PA)

“Willie Limond was driving and had a seizure and was later sent to hospital and passed away.

“My thoughts go out to his family, and if there is anything I can help with or support, please get in touch with me and my team.

“It’s a sad day for boxing, he was a champion, a great boxer and a great person.

“We met numerous times after we fought each other.

“And like I said, my thoughts are with him and his family and if there is anything I can help with, please let me know.”

Amir also shared a picture of himself standing in the ring with Limond for their title fight, which after eight rounds, Amir won.

Glasgow boxing legend Willie was the first boxer to deliver a blow to Amir which sent him to the floor, but the Bolton boxer got up and took control of the rest of the fight.

Willie was then stopped in round eight after breaking his jaw.

But Willie held the super lightweight title in 2014 and the European title in 2004.

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Anthony Crolla also fought Willie and posted his own picture on social media platform ‘X’.

He said: "Not just in boxing but in life as well. One of the best men I ever met."

The fighter started out as a footballer at Albion Rovers.

The Bolton News: Former British champion Willie Limond has died (Danny Lawson/PA)

His boxing club, St Andrew's Sporting Club, also published a statement which read: "Everyone at St Andrew’s Sporting Club are shocked and deeply saddened at the loss of our friend, Willie Limond.

"Willie was not only a legend of the sport, but an infectious character who will be greatly missed by us all.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Jake, Drew, Macy and the rest of the Limond family at this time."

Willie had been due to return to the ring next month to face Geordie Joe Laws at the Emirates Arena on May 3. 

Amir will soon be back in the UK for Muslim Boxing Awards, on April 20 in Birmingham, where he will be presenting awards to the top Muslim Boxing talent.