TWO young fighters who train at KBW Amateur Boxing Club, in Dewsbury, are set to make a big impression in the ring after winning gold medals in the Haringey Box Cup, in London, writes Mark Berry.
Saif ‘Ceff’ Cheema and Nadim Mohammad confirmed their promise with superb performances in the prestigious tournament staged at London’s Alexandra Palace, where 350 of the brightest young European fighters went head-to-head in three days of competition.
Televised by BoxNation and scrutinised by the likes of boxing writer Steve Bunce and former WBC super middleweight champion Richie Woodhall, fighters were thrust into the spotlight but the dynamic Dewsbury duo rose to the challenge with two victories apiece.
Competing within the Class A 64kg youth ranks Cheema, 19, celebrated a unanimous points decision over Suber Sharif in the semi-final before clinching gold with another unanimous verdict over Fitzroy Lodge fighter Joe Bellamy in the final.
Not to be outdone, Mohammad, 21, started his Class B senior 64kg challenge with a second-round technical knockout win and went on to record a majority points victory over David Wheatley in the final.
Both starlets are coached by KBW’s Martin Bateson and renowned trainer Alwyn Belcher, at Huggy’s ABC, in Bradford, and have benefited from working with some of the best boxers in the country.
There have been sparring sessions with the likes of Guisborough’s ABA lightweight champion Josh Leather and ABA finalist Robbie Davies, from Liverpool, and a regular trainer at KBW is 19-year-old ABA champion Qais Ashfaq, from Leeds, who is widely tipped to be a British boxing star of the future.
Ashfaq’s experience as an England and Great Britain fighter has obviously rubbed-off on KBW’s latest successful pairing and the gold medals in London were quickly followed by more good news.
Both Cheema and Mohammad have received invitations from Great Britain boxing performance director Rob McCracken to train with the Team GB 2012 London Olympics boxing squad, in Sheffield - an experience that will prove to be invaluable according to KBW assistant coach Imran Cheema.
He said: “It is fantastic news for the lads and they will learn so much from training with such a talented squad.
“It is a dream story for two lads from Yorkshire to win gold in London. It showed that hard work, belief and having a good support team really pays off.”