Amir Khan has been training this week in Vancouver, Canada, ahead of his title defence against Paulie Malignaggi as he awaits confirmation for a work visa to defend his WBA light-welterweight title at New York’s Madison Square Garden’s in the US.
It is believed a number of motor offences Khan picked up in the UK, are holding up his application, although Amir thinks the name Khan might have more to do with the delay.
While Khan is exiled in Vancouver, trainer Freddie Roach has travelled out to train him so as not to upset his training pattern, the change in scenery and sparring partners is just what Khan needs before he is let loose on Malignaggi.
Obtaining a work permit in the US can be a very long process these days, especially for those with convictions.
It is thought that the hold up in granting a visa could be to do with Khan’s motoring offences. In October 2007 he was convicted of careless driving after he drove through a red light and injured a pedestrian in his home town of Bolton.
Three months later Khan was in court again to face magistrates for an earlier offence of speeding. Khan was said to be driving in access of 155mph and was fined £1,000 and banned for 42 days for speeding
“I’m in Vancouver for the work visa for the states been here for few days with Freddie, change of scenery and sparring partners still training hard can’t wait to be let loose on Paulie!!! The US embassy in Vancouver just doing the standard checks and procedure due to the name KHAN.” said Amir via Facebook.
Khan vs Malignaggi will be broadcast on Sky ppv in the UK and HBO in the US and according to matchmaker for Golden Boy Promotions, Robert Diaz, Khan’s visa problem is due to offences in his younger days
Speaking exclusively to the daily Telegraph Sport, Diaz said: “Amir Khan has had to go to Vancouver, and it is due to a few incidents when he was younger, but we are completely confident that he will be in New York to defend his title ahead of the fight with Malignaggi.
“Khan is a professional, and he has maintained his focus throughout the events that have taken place. Freddie Roach has gone up to Vancouver because it has taken longer to sort this out than we at first thought.”