Boxer Amir Khan has resolved to fast during training for a match which may turn out to be the biggest fight of his professional career.
Amir is widely speculated to face undefeated triple welterweight world champion Floyd Mayweather in September but the 28-year-old insists on fasting while training claiming he would be in perfect condition for the fight.
Read: Amir Khan wants Mayweather fight
"Ramazan ends on July 17 or July 18, that gives me enough time to finish Ramazan and then go into hard training," the 28-year-old said.
Amir is hopeful that he would get the fight with Mayweather and that fasting was not going to make a difference to his form. "I'm very confident, I think that fight could definitely happen - I'm just waiting for that phone call. If I get the big fight with Floyd Mayweather, I'll be more than ready for it and Ramazan is not going to make a difference!"
However, Amir admitted he has had to alter his training timings owing to the holy month of Ramazan. "The training has changed big time. After fasting all day I eat late in the evening, go to mosque for my prayers and then hit the gym at midnight to train for about an hour,” he said.
"It's extremely tough but the motivation for me is that my opponents are sleeping whilst Amir Khan is training. It's not really something a sportsman should be doing but that's the sacrifices you have to make when you're a Muslim," he added.
British boxing trainer Adam Booth who looked after former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Danny Williams, is of the opinion that it is possible for Amir to fast and train at the same time.
"Danny used to fast during the month of Ramazan and we would change the cycle for eating, sleeping and training. It's definitely 100% possible for Amir Khan to fast during Ramazan and be ready to face Mayweather in the Autumn," Williams said.
Amir, naturally, had to bring about a change to his eating habits during the holy month. Before Ramazan, he used to eat five meals a day but now he has reduced them to two. He said he missed his morning cup of tea and his desserts.
Explaining what it is like when he can finally eat at Iftar time, he said, "Sometimes there's so much food in front of you and you think 'I just want to get stuck in' but that's the challenge - you have to make sure you eat healthily but it's very hard - I sometimes like to slide away and have a kebab or a samosa - it's not easy!”
He continued, "I'm a normal guy at the end of the day - but I make up for it when I go back into the training camp."
Read: England’s Moeen Ali on Ashes, fasting and being a Muslim
Further, Rugby union sports nutritionist Matt Lovell believes fasting could prove beneficial to Amir.
"It can be done," he said. "Fasting can give you mental strength and power. I can't see Ramazan affecting Amir negatively - the six weeks between the end of Ramazan and Amir's potential big fight with Floyd Mayweather is enough time for him to be ready."
Amir believes that his faith goes hand in hand with sports. As for fasting, he said he had been doing it since he was eight years old.
"When I go into the boxing ring, it's a very lonely place, when I go into the gym it's a very quiet place. I'm on my own training, but it's God that gives me the strength.”
"My faith drives me, gives me that motivation and that push. I see a lot of people around the world, Muslims and non-Muslim who have a lot of belief in their faith. They're the people who get far in life - if you have belief you can definitely get far," he added.
This article originally appeared on BBC
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