BOXER Amir Khan has told of his gun robbery terror and said: “I feared my kids would grow up without their dad.”
The former world champ, 36, handed over his £72,000 watch at gunpoint in London.
Amir Khan, pictured with wife Faryal, told of his gun robbery terror
Amir, pictured with his children, said: ‘I feared my kids would grow up without their dad’
Masked gunman Dante Campbell jumped out of a silver Mercedes, pointed the weapon in Amir’s face and shouted: ‘Take off the watch!’
Wife Faryal, who was with him, said: “I thought we were both going to die.”
Victim Amir Khan revealed how he turned his head in terror during his gunpoint ordeal so he would not see the bullet coming.
The boxer had left a restaurant with wife Faryal when a gang pulled up in a Merc, pointed the weapon in his face and demanded his watch.
Amir’s light-welterweight reflexes kicked in as he feared the gunman would pull the trigger.
Speaking exclusively to SE on Sunday, he revealed: “In that moment, you think the worst . . . that the kids could be growing up without their dad, that Faryal would be raising them on her own.
“Your life flashes before your eyes. I leant my head to the right because I thought, if he is going to shoot me, he can shoot the side of my head. I don’t want to see the bullet coming.”
Amir handed over a £72,000 diamond-encrusted watch he’d bought to celebrate winning a fight.
Terrified Faryal, 31, ran into the road and screamed for help.
The robbers fled in their car and the timepiece has not been found.
Faryal yesterday said she feared the couple were the target of an organised hit, saying: “I thought we were going to die on the spot.”
The couple now feel the “England we love isn’t a safe place any more” so spend more time at their home in Dubai.
Two men admitted 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 been for dinner with pal Omar Khalid at the 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 weapon in Amir’s face and shouted: “Take off the watch!”
Amir, who is dad to Lamaisah, eight, Alayna, four, and Muhammad Zaviyar, three, recalled yesterday: “It was the first time I’ve ever seen a gun in my life. I could see down the barrel.
“I remember looking back seeing where my wife was. She ran back on the road and screamed ‘help!’
“At the time, I didn’t know what he wanted. I thought maybe this is a prank. I just took off the watch, he grabbed it.”
Amir had earlier been shopping in Knightsbridge while Faryal was at a photoshoot.
Amir retired from boxing last year having won a silver medal for Great Britain at the 2004 Olympics in Athens
Amir blasted mayor Sadiq Khan, saying: ‘Since he has been in power, London has got so dangerous’
They visited the restaurant during Ramadan as it serves halal steak, and spent around an hour eating and taking snaps with fans.
Recalling the ordeal, Amir said: “Faryal ran back on to the road and I just froze.
“Normally she walks in front of me so I know she’s safe.
“But for some reason she didn’t that night — which looking back is a good thing.
“The gunman told me to take off the watch so I did and he grabbed it. I was shaken up.
“It happened so fast, it registered with me a day after. It makes you think, life is very short.
“People said after, ‘You should’ve fought them’. Are they stupid? I’ve got a family. It’s only a watch. My life means more to me.
“When you have kids, you have a priority to make sure they are looked after. I am the breadwinner for the family. If I was with the kids, I don’t know what I would’ve done. Maybe I would have panicked and tried to run.”
Amir added: “Someone called the police. It caused a big scene and people recognised me.
“I felt quite embarrassed it had happened to me, that I’d just been robbed at gunpoint.
“I got into Omar’s car and we drove around the corner because I didn’t want to be around 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 their room at the May Fair Hotel in central London, where she was in floods of tears.
The boxer added: “I could feel how scared Faryal was. I sat with her and told her it’s fine, the watch is materialistic.
“She said, ‘What if the kids were with us? What if they shot you and killed you? The kids love you so much, you’re a good father to them, they would miss you so much’.
The former world champ handed over his £72,000 watch at gunpoint in London
“I had the worst sleep that night. It was like the sleep I have the day before a fight. I was very uneasy.”
Yesterday Amir was revealed to be a star of next month’s I’m A Celebrity South African special — after a stint on the show in 2017.
He retired from boxing last year having won 34 of 40 fights, 21 by knockout, and with a silver medal for Great Britain at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
He is now based in Dubai but returns to England once a month for a week for charity and TV work.
Since the attack he pays £600 a day on security in the UK.
Bolton-born Amir said: “The UK isn’t a safe place any more.
“It’s like living in Mexico. I don’t feel comfortable. I love England. I won a medal for the country but I stay in Dubai now because it’s the only place I feel safe. I’ve had my career, won my fights, got money. I just want to be safe.”
Amir also blasted London’s Labour mayor Sadiq Khan, saying: “Since he has been in power, London has got so dangerous. He needs to pull his finger out and do something about it.”
Speaking about the impact of the robbery, he added: “Faryal always says ‘Don’t go out on your own’.
“She’s always on my back saying, ‘Make sure you take your security with you’.
“A couple of months after the robbery, I remember walking outside Harrods.
“It was about 5pm or 6pm, and I had a bag with a T-shirt in. I thought, ‘Oh s**t, 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 uneasy.”
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 quite sentimental. I got it after I won to treat myself.”
Speaking about the impact of the robbery, Amir said: ‘Faryal always says ‘Don’t go out on your own’
Recalling the ordeal, Amir said: ‘Faryal ran back on to the road and I just froze’
Two weeks before the robbery he stopped paying £15,000 a year insurance for around £600,000 worth of watches.
He had been paying the premium for ten years but felt safe having never been targeted before.
Faryal, who married Amir in 2013, said of the ordeal: “I saw a really tall guy like hugging Amir.
“Amir seemed to be laughing, I think he thought it was a fan.
“Suddenly I saw a gun . . . I was on the phone to my best friend and just started screaming ‘help, help, help!’
“I ran into the road as I thought I’d rather get hit by a car than shot. At the time, I thought someone had set us up. That they’ve come to shoot me and Amir. I thought, ‘Does Amir have any enemies?’
“I was worried that while I’m running someone is going to shoot me from the back. It was really, really scary.”
Faryal added: “I would lie awake at night thinking, ‘What if we both got killed?’ It took me a good few months to get over it.
“After the incident, we sorted out our wills and a trust for the kids. It was a big wake-up call.”
She said it brought her and Amir closer.
She said: “It hit me that I could’ve lost Amir.
“It makes you appreciate each other a lot more.
“He’s the love of my life, my husband, the father of my children.
“If I lost him, I don’t think I could ever recover from that.”
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How to learn to box for exercise
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