Nelson boxer Atif Mushtaq has surrounded himself with prospective champions to bolster his own title-winning credentials.
The 26-year-old parted company with trainer Stuart McFadyen nine weeks ago and has teamed up with Ensley Bingham at the former British and Inter-Continental light middle-weight champion’s Manchester base.
After settling in at Champs Camp, Mushtaq said: “I left Stuart on good terms. I just felt that I needed to take that next step in my career. I’ll always be grateful for everything he’s done for me because without him I wouldn’t be a professional boxer.
“I was checking out a lot of gyms. I know Artif Ali who fights out of there and he took me to the gym. I trained for a week and I loved it. It was tough and intense.”
During his tenure at Colne’s Intershape Gym, Mushtaq won three of his four contests with the anomaly coming in a stalemate on his debut versus journeyman Kristian Laight. He has a rematch at Blackburn’s King George’s Hall tomorrow.
“I want to set the record straight now. We will step up to six rounds after this and move on to bigger and better things. For peace of mind I want to beat him hands down. I’m over the moon to get the rematch and put it right on my record.”
Mushtaq, who has English featherweight title challenger Ryan Doyle as a stablemate alongside Jimmy Kelly, Sam Hyde and Artif Ali, added: “All the lads there are unbeaten, in the top 10 of their divisions or going for titles. It’s good to be surrounded by prospects like that. They’re all up-and-coming boxers aiming for big things. I’m sparring regularly now, I feel as though my fitness has gone through the roof.”