WBA light-welterweight champion Amir Khan believes he may be the victim of racial tension in Britain and has claimed he would be a “superstar” if he was white.
The 22-year-old defends his belt for the first time tonight against mandatory challenger Dmitriy Salita at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle.
Khan was booed by a small, but vocal, minority at the Prizefighter tournament at the ExCel Arena last week and Khan, a Muslim, has put such behaviour down to bigotry.
He said: “It’s probably jealousy and sometimes skin colour does make a difference. I know if, maybe, I was a white English fighter, I would be a superstar in Britain.
“I never get racist remarks but it’s always out there which you can’t stop. You just live and learn about what people are like. I just choose to ignore them.”
The fighter added: “I’m proud to be British and it’s a very small minority but it does hurt you and it pushes you all the way.
“I went to the Olympic Games for Britain and won a medal for Britain and then won a world title for Britain but sometimes you don’t see the appreciation.”