Nelson boxer Atif Mushtaq lavished praise on trainer Stuart McFadyen and fitness coach Ash Alderson after landing his first professional victory.
The 25-year-old had been set to avenge his disappointing debut stalemate in a rematch against Kristian Laight, but the seasoned fighter failed to make the weight so in stepped Joe Beeden as his replacement.
Mushtaq breezed through the rounds, taking all four, as he had his arm held aloft by referee John Latham at Bolton’s De Vere Whites.
“It’s great to get that win,” he said. “I trained really hard for this fight so I’m delighted with it. I owe a lot to Stuart and Ash because I really benefited from the training camp.
“I felt really fit and felt as though I could’ve gone another six rounds. The strength and conditioning part of the workout really helped my fitness, speed, sharpness and strength.
“Stuart helped by getting in the ring and sparring with me, honing my technique, looking at switching stances and working on the stiff arm jabs that I kept catching my opponent with. Everything was perfect and really helped me.”
Now after overcoming that test, and claiming his first triumph, Mushtaq feels he can relax and enjoy it a bit more now.
“It was a test because I didn’t know anything about my opponent,” he said. “I had trained and prepared for the rematch. He was a totally different fighter but I feel he was better. He fought on the front foot and gave me something to think about but I just boxed him, pushed him back and put him under pressure.”
Mushtaq added: “I feel like the pressure is off slightly now after getting my first win. I can move on now and work my way up the ladder with bigger fights and better opponents.
“We’ll just have to see what comes up now. I’ll sit down with my manager Steve Woods and discuss my options. I feel more confident now and I know I’ve got the ability to match my fitness.”
Mushtaq would like to thank North West Door Security and OnlineGarms.Net for their continued sponsorship and support.