The stage has finally been set for Nelson boxer Atif Mushtaq to make his professional debut.
The 22-year-old had been scheduled to announce his switch from the amateur ranks at Colne Muni in May, but plans to make his bow were delayed after the show was cancelled.
However, with coach Stuart McFadyen in his corner, Atif will now make the step up at De Vere Whites located at Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium on Saturday, July 20th with an opponent yet to be named.
Atif developed as a youngster under the expert eye of Brian Roche where he boasted a record of 24 wins from 38 outings. Now, after polishing his skillset at Colne’s Intershape Gym, he’s ready to enhance his reputation as a pro.
“I was really disappointed about the cancellation of my last fight because I’d worked really hard towards making my pro debut and I’d sold a lot of tickets,” he said. “But I’ve carried on from where I left off in terms of training and it’s been going really well so I’m more than ready to go.
“I’ve started doing a lot more strength and explosive workouts. I’m punching a lot harder now and I’m feeling a lot fitter and stronger. What’s happened has been a bit of a blessing because things have worked out well. I’m on at a massive show in Bolton now so I’m happy.”
He added: “I’m feeling really confident ahead of my debut. The atmosphere is great at the Reebok and it’s a good chance to show people what I’ve got. I can’t wait to get inside the ring at such a great arena.
“I’m determined to continue from my amateur record where I was unbeaten in my last 15 fights. I’m the first professional asian boxer to come out of Nelson so I want to make the region proud.”
Also on the card is English light-welterweight champion Shayne Singleton who will warm up for the first defence of his crown - against Tyrone Nurse on September 20th - with a six-round bout with an opponent still to be confirmed.
Anybody wishing to purchase tickets for the event can do so by contacting Atif on 07719 267000.