Blackburn boxer Shakeeb Ali lands national title

Fighter Shakeeb Ali.

Fighter Shakeeb Ali.

First published in Sport

SHAKEEB Ali showed he is one of the brightest young prospects around after winning the British European Boxing Federation title in thrilling fashion.

The 20-year-old lived up to his top billing at the Stirk House when he completed outclassed then stopped Darryl Pierce from the Elite Club in Birmingham.

The Blackburn fighter dominated from the first bell and had Pierce rattled in the opening round.

Ali was too quick and too strong for his Midlands rival, putting him down twice in the second round before stopping him early in the third.

It was Ali’s eighth straight semi professional victory.

It follows a 44-fight amateur record under the tutelage of the hugely experienced Yaqoob Hussain MBE at Blackburn and Darwen Police ABC and world famous coach Brendan Ingle during his three year stint in Sheffield.

The manner of the victory left current coach Jason Curtis purring – and has backed him to be a big success when he finally turns professional, probably later this year.

“Shak had his opponent in struggle right from the off and it was a superb performance,” said Curtis, head coach at Kokoro Boxing Club. “He has a hell of a punch and hit him with a body blow in the second round that really took the wind out of him.

He added: “He had a very good upbringing in the amateur ranks and we have made sure not to push him as a semi professional.

“But I think he is good enough to turn professional now and I seriously believe he can become one of the best lightweights in the country.”

Ali is the third EBF title holder to come out of the gym, following Luke Blackledge and Curtis himself, a double champion himself, his latest belt coming last month.

Ali will become Kokoro’s fourth professional following Steve Taylor, Ali Shah and Blackledge

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