A YOUNG boxer from Aylesbury has set his sights on Olympic and professional glory after enjoying a highly successful start to his fledgling career.
Seventeen year old Shaqat Junior Khan has been boxing for two and a half years and only fighting since May.
In that time he has won four of his five fights, one against a 25 year old who was unbeaten in seven bouts, and got through to the semi-finals of the novice championships.
Shafqat, who is studying public services at Aylesbury College with the idea of becoming a firefighter, takes his boxing very seriously and would some day like to emulate his hero, Amir Khan.
“He’s a huge hero of mine. I look at him and think I want to be just like him.”
Shafqat fights for a club in Luton but trains at Pegasus Gym in Aylesbury. He candidly admits he owes a lot to his uncle for giving him a focus in life.
He explained: “My uncle got me into it. I really have to thank him for helping me turn my life around.
“I was a bit of a naughty kid and he started me boxing and gave me something to love.”
Shafqat’s uncle, Anab Hussain, still helps him with his training and conditioning.
“At the moment I travel to Luton three times a week and fight for Lewsy, a boxing club up there.
“I really love the discipline. It takes a lot of courage to step into the ring.
“It’s not all about the fighting, you’ve got to be really clever.
“I feel I’ve got a lot of talent for it. When I first went down I sparred with a few boys who had been boxing for a while but I landed a few punches and did really well.
“I love everything about it.
“I probably won’t fight again until January. I need a bit of a rest and it’s the Christmas period.”
As well as Amir Khan, Shafqat admires Aylesbury pro boxer Nathan Graham, who helps train him.
“Nathan’s like family to me. He comes to all my fights and helps me train. I really look up to him.
“My long-term target in amateurs is to fight for the England ABA team (Amateur Boxing Association). That’s the highest form and may see me fight in the 2016 Olympics. After that I want to turn professional and be one of the greatest boxers in the world.”