11:00AM, Sunday 21 November 2021
A young boxer from Slough has been crowned as England’s number one in his weight category at the National Junior Championships.
Zayn Ali Ahmed, 15, won the 48kg weight division belt after coming through the finals hosted in Hereford last month.
Coming from a family of boxers, he has been fighting since the age of 11 and has spent much of the last 12 months preparing for his first Junior Championships.
Zayn’s father, Ali, said: “He’s a cheeky chap. He has a lot of energy which he burns off in the boxing ring and it’s matured him, made him calmer and helped him to channel his energy.
“The discipline of boxing helps him to focus and he puts that into his academic work.”
Zayn, who boxes with a Southpaw stance, is looking forward to being invited to the home of English Boxing in Sheffield next year.
As an Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) champion he is in stellar company.
The likes of Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury held various national belts before claiming world titles.
If Zayn can defend his prize in March 2022 he will represent England at the European Championships, an opportunity which he was deprived of this year owing to the pandemic.
A fan of boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, Zayn is determined to forge a career in the sport and is surrounded by a knowledgeable team who want to help him achieve his dreams.
He is a member of the Pinewood Starr Amateur Boxing Club which is regarded as one of the best clubs in the country for their record of producing Junior and Amateur Champions.
His cousin Hamzah Sheeraz is the WBO European junior-middleweight champion and is signed to prominent promoter Frank Warren’s stable of boxers, to which Fury also belongs.
He even has a strength and conditioning coach, Khalil Khalid, who is helping to manage Zayn’s physical development, and help navigate up to six training sessions a week, during a key phase of his adolescence
The foundations are in place for a bright future. His next fight will be his first overseas, when he travels to Guernsey in the coming weeks. Father Ali added: “We’re all very proud of him and the hard work is now paying off.”