‘The Beast from the East’: Shak Khan prepares for UK return in the sport he loves

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KILLER KHAN: Shak Khan is preparing to fight on UK soil next year after a number of years competing in Pakistan
KILLER KHAN: Shak Khan is preparing to fight on UK soil next year after a number of years competing in Pakistan

Growing up in the era of the Dynamite Kid, Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior, British-Pakistani Shak Khan’s love affair with the squared circle began when he was just a teen.

As a 15-year-old with little direction in life, he moved to Blackpool with his father from Halifax.

It was there that he first stumbled upon amateur wrestling at the famed Pleasure Beach, and there that he says he knew what he wanted to become when he grew up – a wrestler.

“The Pleasure Beach ran around 20 seasons of wrestling, inviting members of the public to get in the ring with a wrestler to see if they could last a round,” Shak recalls.

“If they succeeded they won some money. It was our job to make sure they didn’t succeed.”

Although still a young teen, Shak looked up to the competitors as role models and approached his idol at the time, ‘Dangerous’ Dave Duran, for advice.

He was told to go away and work on technique, which he did by training in judo for two years, before finally stepping into the ring for training with the brawlers of Blackpool.

“I was beaten black and blue by them for two to three months at first,” Shak explains. “It was only after that time, only after I had earned their respect, that I began wrestling for real.

“I wrestled all over the UK for various promoters and then when I was 21, I wrestled in Dubai.”

A career turning point for Shak was when he met another of his idols, the well-respected Ali Shan, during a visit to Pakistan.

Inspiring him to continue pursuing a career in the hard-hitting profession, Shak, who also goes by the ring name ‘Raja Sony Pawan’ says he knew right then that he would never be leaving the industry.

Today, the 42-year-old is living out his dream as an amateur wrestler, taking on opponents from Blackpool to Kashmir whilst also training the next generation of athletes from his own wrestling gym.

He won the Pakistani World Championship in Azad Kashmir, whilst representing his home town of Sochani, near Dadyal, and is returning to action in the UK next year to face off in an international contest.

“I’m up against Austrian champion, Michael Kovac,” Shak says. “There was nobody who would face me in the UK so we had to look overseas for an opponent.

“It promises to be a great match. I’m unbeaten in Kashmir and am really looking forward to putting on a good show for the people of Birmingham who come down to the show.”

He adds: “I may be 42 now but I still feel 18. I know that I was born to be a wrestler and will continue doing it for a long time to come.”

You can see Shak compete next year when the fight is broadcast live on Sky channel ‘TV 99’ (channel 842).

Also booked in for the night of action is a ten-man battle royal, featuring former WWE superstar, Joey Legend, and British talents, the UK hooligans.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Seen him when he came to Pakistan , he had armed police with him in Rawalpindi he was getting mobbed from locals for selfies ! He’s made Pakistan proud and we love him ! He is the only Pakistani professional wrestler to have represented his country all over the world ! Love you Shak !

  2. He has earned a good name for himself as he has a great way to market his career as a shoot / wrestler , I’ve read he often took on members of public to fight him for money somewhere in England and he never lost a fight ! Would of loved to have seen that ! He has a wrestling school in north of uk and he also promoted events in U.K. And Asia , my cousin met him and says he was very friendly and down to earth !

  3. Shak is a great guy , saw him take on a huge 18 stone rugby player in a challenge bout at a fairground in Blackpool many years ago and he just pulverised the guy . He’s a strong lad , he reminded me of a Asian version of dynamite kid ! Wish him all the success in the ring and he’s a humble lad outside the ring too. It’ was said that he is a national hero / champion / celebrity in his country and I read that he is the highest paid sportsman ( wrestler ) from Pakistan ! Good luck Shak and all the best to you !

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