“I was afraid that my children would grow up without their father because the robber pointed the gun at me,” reveals Amir Khan
BOXER Amir Khan has opened up about his gun robbery terror and said: “I was afraid that my children would grow up without their father.”
The former world champion, 36, surrendered his £72,000 watch at gunpoint in London.
Mrs Faryal, who was with him, said: “I thought we were both going to die.”
Victim Amir Khan revealed how during his gunpoint ordeal he turned his head in shock so he wouldn’t see the bullet coming.
The boxer was leaving a restaurant with his wife Faryal when a gang drove up in a Merc, pointed the gun in his face and demanded his watch.
Amir’s slight welterweight reflexes kicked in when he feared the shooter would pull the trigger.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun on Sunday, he revealed: “Right now you’re thinking about the worst. . . that the children could grow up without their father, that Faryal would raise them alone.
“Your life flashes before your eyes. I tilted my head to the right, thinking that if he wants to shoot me, he can shoot my head from the side. I don’t want to see the bullet coming.”
Amir handed over a £72,000 diamond-encrusted watch he bought to celebrate winning a fight.
Terrified, Faryal, 31, ran into the street screaming for help.
The robbers fled in their car, but the watch was not found.
Faryal said yesterday she feared the couple were the target of an organized attack, saying: “I thought we were going to die on the spot.”
The couple now feel that “England we love is no longer a safe place” so they are spending more time at their home in Dubai.
Two men admitted their involvement in the robbery on April 18 last year.
On Friday, two others were found not guilty of acting as spotters.
Amir and Faryal had dinner with their pal Omar Khalid at Sahara Grill in Leyton, East London.
The boxer posed for selfies with fans and CCTV showed him leaving at 9.10pm.
As the couple walked to their car, masked gunman Dante Campbell, 20, jumped out of a silver Mercedes coupe, pointed the gun at Amir’s face and shouted, “Take off the watch!”
Amir, the father of Lamaisah (8), Alayna (4) and Muhammad Zaviyar (3), recalled yesterday: “It was the first time in my life that I saw a gun. I could see the barrel.
“I remember looking back and seeing where my wife was. She ran back into the street screaming “Help!”.
“At the time I didn’t know what he wanted. I thought maybe this is a joke. I just took off the watch, he grabbed it.”
Amir had previously shopped in Knightsbridge while Faryal was at a photo shoot.
They visited the restaurant during Ramadan as it serves halal steak and spent about an hour eating and snapping with fans.
Recalling the ordeal, Amir said: “Faryal ran back into the street and I froze.
“She usually goes in front of me so I know she’s safe.
“But for some reason she didn’t do it that night – which in retrospect is good.
“The shooter told me to take the watch off, so I did and he grabbed it. I was shaken.
“It happened so quickly that it was registered with me a day later. It makes you think life is very short.
“People said afterwards, ‘You should have fought them.’ Are you stupid? I have a family. It’s only one clock. My life means more to me.
“If you have children, you have to make sure they are taken care of. I am the breadwinner of the family. If I had been with the kids, I don’t know what I would have done. Maybe I would have panicked and tried to run away.”
Amir added: “Somebody called the police. It caused a big scene and people recognized me.
“I was quite embarrassed that had happened to me, that I had just been robbed at gunpoint.
“I got in Omar’s car and we drove around the corner because I didn’t want to be in the area.
“I did a 30 minute interview in the police car. I told them what happened, how it happened.”
Amir and Faryal then returned to her room at the May Fair Hotel in central London, where she was in tears.
The boxer added: “I could feel how scared Faryal was. I sat with her and told her it was fine, the watch was materialistic.
“She said, ‘What if the kids were with us? What if they shot you and killed you? The children love you so much, you are a good father to them, they would miss you so much.
“I had the worst sleep that night. It was like the sleep I get the day before a fight. I was very restless.”
Yesterday, Amir was revealed to be the star of next month’s South African special ‘I’m A Celebrity’ – after appearing on the show in 2017.
He retired from boxing last year after winning 34 bouts out of 40, 21 by knockout, and with a silver medal for Great Britain at the Athens 2004 Olympics.
He now lives in Dubai but returns to England once a month for a week for charity and TV.
He’s been paying £600 a day for security in the UK since the attack.
The Bolton-born Amir said: “Britain is no longer a safe place.
“It’s like living in Mexico. I do not feel comfortable. i love uk I won a medal for the country but I’m staying in Dubai now because it’s the only place I feel safe. I had my career, I won my fights, I got paid. I just want to be sure.”
Amir also attacked London’s Labor Mayor Sadiq Khan, saying: “Since he came to power, London has become so dangerous. He needs to pull his finger out and do something about it.”
On the aftermath of the robbery, he added, “Faryal always says, ‘Don’t go out alone.’
“She’s always on my back and says, ‘Make sure you take your safety with you.’
“I remember walking outside Harrods a few months after the robbery.
“It was about 5 or 6 p.m. and I had a bag with a t-shirt in it. I was like, ‘Oh shit, it’s not safe for me to walk.’
“A guy asked me for a picture and I’m always happy to do that, but I felt very uncomfortable.”
Amir had bought the stolen watch – a Franck Muller Vanguard Chronograph – after his December 2014 victory over American welterweight Devon Alexander in Las Vegas.
Amir said: “I always buy a watch after a fight. It was pretty sentimental. I got it after winning to treat myself.”
Two weeks before the robbery, he stopped paying £15,000 a year for insurance on around £600,000 of watches.
He had paid the bounty for ten years but felt safe as he had never been attacked before.
Faryal, who married Amir in 2013, said of the ordeal: “I saw a really big man who was happy to hug Amir.
“Amir seemed to be laughing, I think he thought it was a fan.
“Suddenly I saw a gun. . . I was on the phone with my best friend and just started screaming “Help, help, help!”
“I ran out into the street thinking I’d rather be hit by a car than shot. At the time, I thought someone had set us up. That they came to shoot me and Amir. I thought, ‘Does Amir have any enemies?’
“I was afraid someone would shoot me from behind while I was running. It was really, really scary.”
Faryal added, “I would lie awake at night thinking, ‘What if we both got killed?’ It took me a few months to get over it.
“After the incident, we settled our will and an endowment for the children. That was a big wake-up call.”
She said it brought her and Amir closer.
She said: “It hit me that I could have lost Amir.
“You appreciate each other a lot more.
“He is the love of my life, my husband, the father of my children.
“If I had lost him, I don’t think I could ever recover from it.”
Cops chase suspects
POLICE are seeking help to locate suspect Hamza Kulane, whom they plan to question about the raid.
Suspected reconnaissance investigators Nurul Amin, 25, and Ismail Mohamed, 24, were cleared of conspiracy to commit the robbery after a two-week trial on Friday.
Gunman Dante Campbell, 20, and pal Ahmed Bana, 25, have admitted conspiring to rob and possess a fake firearm.
You will be sentenced later.
A CCTV film of Amir’s ordeal was shown to the jury.
He told Snaresbrook Crown Court: “I’m a sportsman, a fighter. I’ve been in the most difficult situations, but that’s different. That’s really scary.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7718538/amir-khan-feared-children-robber-pointed-gun/ “I was afraid that my children would grow up without their father because the robber pointed the gun at me,” reveals Amir Khan