Amir Khan gifts huge sum to former foe and refuses to buy medal they fought for


Amir Khan showed incredible generosity this week by gifting $5,000 (£3,900) to his former foe Mario Kindelan.

It’s fair to say Kindelan is not one of Khan’s run-of-the-mill opponents, as he is in fact the man who beat him for the gold medal in the Athens 2004 Olympic final.

Kindelan won two Olympic gold medals, including at the 2004 Olympics where his victory left Khan with silver

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Kindelan won two Olympic gold medals, including at the 2004 Olympics where his victory left Khan with silverCredit: Getty

The Cuban star, now 52, also won the tournament at Sydney 2000 and so retired as a two-time Olympic gold medallist and three-time Amateur World Champion.

However, due to restrictions in his homeland, he was never able to turn professional.

Pro boxing has been banned for 60 years in Cuba and only recently returned last year under specific limiting regulations.

This was a rule initially implemented by Fidel Castro in 1962 as the country was – and remains to this day – a one-party communist state, with political views against ‘corporate exploitation’ in many professional sports.

This saw Cuba become a dominant force in amateur boxing instead and in recent years the country’s top talents have often defected and left Cuba in order to turn pro, though Kindelan never did so and was therefore unable to reap the financial rewards of the sport.

This week, Kindelan reunited with Khan at an event in Bahrain and the pair posted a video to social media in which Khan told the story of their conversation.

The Brit explained that the Cuban fighter had offered to sell him the 2004 Olympic gold medal for $5,000 so that he could use the money to help build a house for his mother in Cuba.

Khan declined, insisting instead to give him the money on the condition that he promised to keep the medal himself and never sell it.

Khan and Kindelan reunited this week

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Khan and Kindelan reunited this weekCredit: Amir Khan – Instagram
The Cuban had great success as an amateur boxer, but did not retire rich as he never turned pro

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The Cuban had great success as an amateur boxer, but did not retire rich as he never turned proCredit: Getty

Khan joined talkSPORT Fight Night on Saturday and recalled: “It was sad to see in a three-time World Amateur Champion, one of the best amateurs ever to come out of Cuba and two-time Olympic gold medallist.

“To see that, it hurts me. It hurt me when he was telling me that he had no money, so I gave him some cash.

“He then said, ‘Do you wanna buy my gold medal?’ I thought he was joking at first.

“But he said, ‘I really wanna sell you my gold medal so I can build my mother a house, the family’s really poor and I wanna build a house for her.’

“I asked him how much the house was gonna be and he said it was gonna be $5,000.

“I said, ‘No problem, I’ll give you the $5,000, plus you have to promise me that you’ll keep the medal and never sell it to someone because you won the Olympic gold medal.’

“I said, ‘I’d never take that from you because you earned that.’

“I’m very happy that he told me the story because I would never let him sell that gold medal, and he’s promised me he won’t now.

“I’ve sent him the money and hopefully he can build his mother’s house now.”





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