Debut draw a distant memory for unbeaten fighter Mushtaq

Atif Mushtaq (left) with new coach Ensley Bingham
Atif Mushtaq (left) with new coach Ensley Bingham
Share this article

After erasing the trauma and frustration of a controversial stalemate on his professional debut, Nelson newcomer Atif Mushtaq feels he can finally move on.

The latest addition to Ensley Bingham’s Champs Camp set the record straight at Blackburn’s King George’s Hall when easing past seasoned pro Kristian Laight in the rematch.

The 26-year-old, with four successive wins on his record now, said: “I’m really happy with the win. A lot of people have been saying that it was my best performance to date. I agree with them. Everyone saw a massive difference in my style of fighting and I’ve improved a lot.

“I was a lot more aggressive. That’s the sort of fighting style that they hammer at the gym. They’ve been drilling it in to me and I think it suits me more.

“Every aspect of my performance felt better. My hand speed, footwork, my body shots, my timing and my shot selections were much improved. I was really dominant compared to the last fight.”

Mushtaq, aided by strength and conditioning coach Anthony Tibbs of Lifestyle Fitness, added: “I’ve had a great training camp. I’ve been sparring with some top prospects like Ryan Doyle, Jimmy Kelly and Artif Ali. I love the new environment that I’m in. Being around those people has given me the motivation and drive to train harder so I can compete at their level.

“I can move on now. This was something for myself - I needed to beat him. It was a bit of a distraction before and my debut played on my mind. That’s erased now and I’ve set the record straight.”