By Tom Degun

Amir_Khan_with_World_Championship_beltMarch 8 - British boxing star Amir Khan (pictured) has been named Sports Personality of the Decade at the Lebara British Asian Sports Awards (BASA) at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Amir rocketed to fame when he claimed a silver medal for Britain at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and has gone on to huge success as a professional fighter - he is the current WBA light-welterweight.

The award was collected on his behalf by brother Haroon, himself a hugely talented amateur boxer who controversially decided to fight for Pakistan after claiming he was snubbed by England's selectors.

Amir, who is training in the Phillipines ahead of his fight against Paul McCloskey in Manchester next month, was recognised not only for his personal sporting achievements but also for the amazing impact he has had in changing perceptions of sport within the Asian community.

In a special video message to guests, he said: "This is an amazing award to receive, and I hope that my success will go some way to inspiring all those sporting hopefuls out in the community to believe that they can achieve their dreams too.

"Without BASA's recognition all those years ago, I am not sure I would have had the immense support I have from the community, so thank you."

Brother Haroon won a bronze medal at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games in the flyweight (52kg) category after beating Welshman, Andrew Selby in the quarter-finals.

Haroon is also a big supporter of BASA and made an emotive and inspiring speech as he collected the award in Amir's absence.


"I know Amir is gutted he can't be here today," he said.

"Acknowledgement from the Lebara British Asian Sports Awards means so much to him.

"He's got all four of his awards in pride of place at home.

"The judges were the first to recognise his talent and BASA put him on the map way before anyone had even heard of him.

"Now, a whole 10 years on, the Lebara British Asian Sports Awards are still behind him, acknowledging his incredible journey.

"He has been a huge inspiration as an ambassador for the awards, and definitely one for me.

"I'm honoured to be collecting this award on his behalf and maybe next year it will be me on stage for a different reason!"

The Personality of the Decade Award was created as part of the special celebrations to mark ten years of BASA.

Among the sporting luminaries considered for this year's award were boxers Harry Dhami and Jawaid Khaliq, martial arts champion Kamaljit Aujla, cricketers Kabir Ali, Samit Patel, Monty Panesar, and last year's winner - female cricketer Isa Guha.

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