Amir Khan’s hometown of Bolton is a former mill town in the North West of England that was the original home of Reebok and traces its roots to the 12th century. It’s part of the the Greater Manchester area, about 10 miles from the heart of the city.
Which, if you’re a fan of English Premier League soccer, you know is home to two of the top teams in the country. So which one does Khan root for? Second-place Manchester City? Fourth-place historical powerhouse Manchester United?
Nope. Amir Khan goes for the Bolton Wanderers, currently sitting in 18th place in the second-tier Championship League. (The way the English football system works, the worst teams in the Premier League are “relegated,” or sent to play in the lower Championship League for the next season. The top Championship teams are elevated to the Premier League, and so on down the line through several tiers of competition. Imagine if the Chicago Cubs were terrible [really stretch your imagination here] and got busted down to Triple A, while a really good Rochester Red Wings squad got promoted to the big leagues. This would be incredibly fun, and therefore would never happen.) That's hometown dedication, right there.
“I’m a good friend of the football players like Wayne Rooney [of Manchester United] and a couple of the Manchester City players, as well,” Khan said. “I know them quite well. They come to the fights when I fight in the U.K., and I see them when I go out and stuff.”
Hanging out with the best soccer player on the planet, it turns out, doesn’t rub off. Khan doesn’t have any thoughts about turning to the pitch once his time in the ring is done.
“I played growing up,” he said. “I think everyone in the U.K. had to have played football. Football is a great sport and it’s the biggest sport in the U.K., so definitely I did kick a football around, but I was never good at it.”
Find out just how right a choice he made during Khan vs Algieri on May 29 on Spike TV, live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.