Three fire crews were called to the unfinished building in Deane after reports of smoke billowing from the site.
Watch manager Chris Wilcox from Bolton Central Station told The Bolton News building materials including plastic cladding had been put out and damaged sections of a glass wall and flooring on the top level of the wedding hall.
Mr Wilcox said: "There was a fire on the top level of a quantity of building material. I believe it's deliberate so police have been requested.
"We managed to get access and get to it in time so it's not taken hold of the building."
When firefighters arrived "there was quite a lot of black smoke" issuing from the building said Mr Wilcox because of plastic cladding which had been set alight.
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said crews were called at 6.26pm to reports of smoke coming from the site.
READ MORE: Amir Khan looking for ideas for empty £5m venue
Mr Wilcox said because the building was unfinished they had requested and aerial platform but crews had been able to reach the top floor themselves and put the fire out using hose reels.
He estimated a 15 metre section of glass had been damaged along with a 10 metre square section of flooring by the fire.
The fire was under control quickly and after around an hour at the scene fire crews were looking to hand over to police officers.
The building has been under construction since 2015 but work ground to a halt.
Once open, the original intention for building was to be able to stage wedding receptions and business conferences in a 620-seater buffet restaurant.
The development was to contain a restaurant and bar on the ground floor, an 800-seater function hall on the second floor, a VIP restaurant and breakout area on the second floor, a roof terrace and 51 parking spaces.
However, since work stopped Khan — currently training for a World Welterweight Title fight against American Terence Crawford — has speculated about the venue becoming a school or part of the university.
Just a week ago he took to social media to ask fans what they thought should become of the building.
He wrote on Facebook: "Decision time when I’m back from the April 20 fight in New York.
“The building will be finished from outside and water tight. I will decide what to do with it.
“Send me your ideas, what I should do?”