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News : 60 Seconds With Two National Boxing Champions

LABGC went down to Bury ABC to meet Muhammad Ali and Sahir Iqbal who were recently crowned National Ambition Boxing Champions, Class A, 50kg and 60kg respectively. Muhammad won his title after the referee disqualified his opponent in the third round whilst Sahir won via a unanimous pointís decision. Not only have both lads claimed the NABCís titles but both have won the schoolboys championships twice and the junior ABAís once. Hereís what they had to say in 60 seconds...






LABGC:        Firstly congratulations on becoming the National Ambition Boxing Champion in your respective categories. How did feel when you won?

MA:                 I was over the moon as obviously becoming number one in England is a big achievement.

SI:                    It felt great because all that hard work youíve put in for all those years and becoming a champion is all you want to do.


LABGC:        When did you start boxing and when did you become a member of Bury ABC?

MA:                 I started boxing when I was 11 years old and Iíve been a member of Bury ABC for 4 years.

SI:                    I started at the age of 9 and first came with my brothers and have been at Bury ABC my entire boxing career. Itís been good, weíve had our ups and downs but itís going all good as were becoming champions.


LABGC:        How often do you train and how long are your training sessions?

MA:                 I come to Bury twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays and we train between 5pm Ė 9pm, and then sometimes I also train at home for an hour or two.

SI:                    I train about 6 days a week, twice a day for 2 hours, resting in between to let my body recover.


LABGC:        Whatís your favourite part of training and why?

MA:                 Obviously sparring as thatís the main reason why I do boxing because I like the punching bit, but I donít really like anything else as itís a bit hard, so just sparring.

SI:                    Training isnít the best part as no one really likes training but I like hitting the bags and learning new techniques with my brother, but youíve just got to do it to get to win!


LABGC:        Do you do any other activities as well as boxing?

MA:                 I used to do running for school but now Iím at college so Iíve stopped but I still run at home. Iím fully focused on the boxing now.

SI:                    Yeah, I play football for my school to keep myself fit and to have different hobbies other than boxing.


LABGC:        What are your personal goals for the future?

MA:                 I want to get on to the Olympics and then maybe turn pro and become a champion!

SI:                    Well I want to go to the Olympics, but this year I want to try winning the European and world championships if possible.


LABGC:        And outside of boxing?

MA:                 If I donít make it as a boxer I want to help other kids and teach them what I know and pass on my knowledge.

SI:                    Iíve got college so I want to be successful at my A Levels.


LABGC:        Whatís the best part about being a member of Bury ABC?

MA:                 All the boxers are close and talk to each other itís not like we all just train on our own; we have fun in the gym and train as one.

SI:                    Itís knowing that the whole club is routing for you and that they want you to win and youíve got people supporting you to do your best.


LABGC:        Who is your boxing hero and why?

MA:                 Probably Muhammed Ali and Amir Khan because he went the Olympics when he was 17 and won a silver medal and thatís a big achievement. I donít think thereís not been anyone else who has really done that and he was the only GB boxer at the 2004 Olympics!

SI:                    It would probably have to be Amir Khan because when I first started I was watching him and we started in the same club.


LABGC:        As a young person, what are your concerns about the future?

MA:                 Finding a job.

SI:                    I want an education because in boxing anything can happen like injury and I want to have a second plan and thatís why Iím going college.


LABGC:        Have you a message for any future champions?

MA:                 Train hard fight easy!

SI:                    Youíve just got to train hard because its all about the win, as along as you train hard youíll get that win and itís all about that, itís the best feeling ever! 


^^ (From L-R) Muhammad Ali, Club Leader Mick Jelley and Sahir Iqbal

^^ Muhammad and Sahir with Coach Colin.

Muhammad Ali in training.

Sahir Iqbal throws a punch.

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