The Big Interview: Cool cat Shafqat is boxing clever

Boxer Shafqat Khan training at Pegasus Gym in Aylesbury

Boxer Shafqat Khan training at Pegasus Gym in Aylesbury

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Up-and-coming Aylesbury boxer Shafqat Khan says he is being driven to have a successful professional career so he can open his own gym to help keep kids off the street.

Eighteen-year-old Shafqat has been forging a reputation for himself in the ring with nine wins from 11 fights since taking up the sport aged 15.

His only two defeats came against some of the best fighters in the UK and the college student has underlined his potential by regaining the Home Counties Championship and sealing a place at the prestigious Dale Youth Boxing Club in London.

The rising star is refreshingly level-headed and revealed the inspiration behind his drive to be a success is helping others.

“My hopes for the future are to become a successful professional boxer,” Shafqat said.

“I want to set up my own gym to get young kids off the street and teach them discipline and focus through boxing. I want to be a role model for younger people and being someone for them to look up to. I also want to do charity work.”

Shafqat has been training with Aylesbury’s top boxer Nathan Graham who he says has given him ‘great guidance and experience’ which he hopes will stand him in good stead in his future career.

He said: “Nathan has given me an insight into the life of a professional boxer which one day I will be God willing! This has also given me a lot of confidence in myself and helped me a lot in improving my boxing skills.

“As well as training with Nathan I have been training with my uncle Anab Hussain who is an amazing coach and taught me a lot!”

Shafqat says he looks up to professional superstars Victor Ortiz and namesake Amir Khan and hopes his hard work – he trains three times a week in London, once in Pegasus Gym with Graham and twice with his uncle Anab – will see him grace the ring in the same way as his idols one day.

Shafqat said: “I don’t really try to match my styles with anyone. I have the body frame of a boxer, tall and long arms, so I use my advantages in the sport.

“I look up to the likes of Ortiz and Khan, though. They are great world champions.”

With all the travelling and training, Shafqat’s dedication doesn’t come cheap and he is grateful to vital sponsorship and support from The Golden Bengal in Aylesbury.

The public services student, who also works part-time in a card shop to help fund his sporting ambitions, saved the last word for his supporters.

He said: “I’d like thank my uncle again and my family, friends and partner for their support in boxing. Without them I wouldn’t have any of my success so far.”

Shafqat Khan, remember the name.