Amir Khan says Tal Singh has the “speed and power’ to become the first Sikh world champion after agreeing to guide the career of his exciting new protege.
Khan will manage the talented 26-year-old, an England amateur champion, and is holding talks with various promoters about launching Singh’s arrival in the professional ranks this year.
The light-flyweight has trained at Khan’s gym since last Spring, impressing the former world title holder, who announced Singh as his first-ever signing.
“Obviously there’s Eddie Hearn and other promoters that we are in talks with,” Khan told Sky Sports. “I really believe that people are going to love Tal’s style, that unorthodox style he’s got. The power, the speed he’s got.
“He has got his boxing licence done now and it’s just good to have him as my first protégé really.
“It was a big move for me, being a fighter myself and still fighting currently.
“Why I got into it now is because with boxing slowing down for me, maybe I’ve got one or two fights left in my career. I want to get in the management side, helping these young fighters and give them that confidence, and pushing them to that top level.
“There’s never been a Sikh world champion. He could be the first one.”
Singh revealed how Khan was ringside for one of his early fights, then offered to train alongside him after the Covid-19 pandemic stalled the Liverpudlian’s progress on the amateur circuit.
“It’s amazing. I know it’s a lot of pressure, with the expectations,” Singh told Sky Sports.
“I need to be taking my time with things at this level when starting out. It’s all about the experience, but I’m very confident that once we get the momentum going, we’ll definitely be delivering those emphatic finishes for the people tuning in.
“There are no words to justify how it makes me feel, it really is incredible.
“I’ve got a trophy in my parent’s house, I’ve had on the fireplace for seven years, and it was when Amir came to my second amateur bout. It’s been in the room for years, but never once did I think I would have the main man actually guiding me to the top, so it’s still surreal.”
Khan held world titles in two divisions, including becoming a unified belt holder at 140lbs, and has relished the opportunity to pass on his ring skills.
I’ve been in the game for a long time. I’ve met many fighters, but it’s not only the skill and the speed, it’s about how hard you work in the gym.
“I saw Tal fight, and I thought ‘wow’,” said Khan. “He’s got everything that it takes to become a champion.
“I’ve been in the game for a long time. I’ve met many fighters, but it’s not only the skill and the speed, it’s about how hard you work in the gym. We started to train together when we got to know each other and I thought, ‘he’s a tasty fighter’, so why not take him under my wing.
“I was a long-range fighter. He’s more of an inside fighter, so I’ve taught him a little bit of the outside, keeping it long, using your reach, because he’s quite tall and lean for his weight.
“I think he will cause a lot of problems, fighting people long, but I know he can fight on the inside as well. He’s got the full package.”
Singh’s ultimate ambition is a historic world title triumph, but he also wants to inspire more young boxers from the Sikh community.
“As the fights go on and as my career progresses, I hope the people can look at my success as inspiration and take from that to go and achieve their own dreams and things they want to do,” he said.
“I want to look back and see that I achieved my dreams and I reached my full potential. That’s most important for me, because I believe my potential is to go all the way, win the titles and even move up a division and win a world title in another weight class.
“The ambitions are there, I’m reaching really high and with Amir by my side, I really, really do believe I’m going to do it.”