EXCLUSIVE: From Yorkshire to Las Vegas

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Student Fes Batista secures monster Boxing deal with the Mayweathers’

BOXING great Floyd Mayweather and his team live by the motto ‘We Make Champions’ – and they may just have found one in the form of Huddersfield amateur boxer Mohammed Faisal.

The 21-year-old University student, better known as ‘Fes Batista’, has been snapped up by the American boxing family who have tipped him as a potential world boxing champion.  

Fes, an amateur boxer who lives with his family in Crossland Moor, Huddersfield, was invited by the Mayweather camp to a special training session in Las Vegas last summer after they watched videos of the Yorkshire lad in action.

And after impressing in the ring, Fes’s boxing dreams came true when he was offered a deal to become part of the Mayweather fraternity.

The Manchester Metropolitan University student will fly back to Vegas later this year as he embarks on a sporting career which could take him to the very top.

“It was like some fantasy coming to life,” Fes told The Asian Today in an Exclusive interview.

“I really couldn’t believe that they would have an interest in me; I mean I’m just a boy from Yorkshire! Why would the world’s best in Las Vegas be interested in me? My world has been turned upside down and I haven’t looked back since.”

Fes trained with boxer Floyd Mayweather’s uncles Roger and Jeff who put the University student through his paces.

“They wanted to see if I really did have this explosive punching power and potential and believe me I made sure they felt it,” Fes reveals.  

“The training was really enjoyable and I got to meet Floyd who was hard in training for his fight against Victor Ortiz.”

So impressed were the Mayweather clan with Fes they offered him a deal immediately – a moment the young student will never forget.

Fes will return to Vegas later this year as he embarks on an opportunity of a lifetime.

But he’s adamant he will finish his Coaching and Sports Development studies at Manchester Metropolitan University before thinking of boxing full time – a wish respected by the Mayweather clan.

“They understand I am at University here and they respect that so they said I must come for a minimum of two months this summer for an intense training camp which will include sparring, pad work, bag work and maybe even a chance to spar with some of their world champions or Olympic boxers,” Fes says.

“My immediate focus is getting my body in the best condition with my strength coach Junior George and focusing still on the amateurs. The long term aim is to move to America; I love the culture and the people; it’s like a perfect place for me.”

During his time in Vegas, Fes took a break from training to watch fellow Brit boxer Amir Khan’s successful title defence against Zeb Judah.

A close friend of Khan, Fes credits the boxer as the inspiration behind his push in taking boxing seriously.  

“Up until a couple of years ago boxing had been on and off for me,” Fes reveals.

“I started properly at the age of 14 then stopped at 16 and restarted at 19. I saw Amir Khan doing so well and I thought wow look at all the respect he gets I want that! When he started to become a friend and encourage me that’s when it really kicked in and I decided boxing was my path.” 

Fes knows he has the luxury of calling on two of the world’s best boxers in Bolton’s finest and Floyd Mayweather for advice as he plots his rise to sporting stardom.

“Floyd is one of the greatest boxers ever, he is someone who I look up to and try to learn from,” Fes says. “Both as a boxer and a person we have similar personalities.  We are both rather fiery individuals when we train and fight and it felt great to meet him and see how hard he trains; it really motivated me to work just as hard.

“Before I was due to fly out to Vegas last summer I was nervous and confused because I didn’t really know what to expect, but I spoke with Amir and he told me everything would be fine.

“Amir has done a fantastic job and I am very proud of his achievements. He is a proud British Asian and has handled every situation really well; he is truly an idol.

“His hard work and dedication has been unbelievable and I think he will win many more world titles.”

Back home in Huddersfield, Fes’s family are slowly coming to terms with the idea they could possibly count a world champion boxer as one of their own.

As a five year old Fes would find himself with his hands wrapped in towels and sparring with his father, a keen sportsman whose participation in football and cricket was cut short due to injury.

“My family have been great and they always try to motivate me and keep my feet on the ground,” says Fes.

“They keep reminding me that this opportunity I have is literally one in a million chance and I must take it. My friends have also helped me more now since this deal took place. They always tell me to train like no tomorrow.

“My friends and family are always looking out for me and look after me. My family are very proud of me and I want to continue making them proud by working hard and dedicating myself.”

For the time being Fes knows the hard work starts now as he looks to gain experience in the amateurs before eventually going professional.

“I want to get between 30 to 50 fights experience before turning pro and I want a positive amateur record so I plan to condition myself so I am in perfect condition before I get into a ring again. The goal is to eventually turn pro when I’m ready.

“I am a power puncher and heavy handed punchers like me last a lot. But I can’t get ahead of myself  so the first thing is getting my experience in the amateurs both here and in America.”

Fes hopes his journey from Huddersfield to Las Vegas will act as an inspiration for young British Asians to follow their dreams.

Working with youngsters in his community on a regular basis, Fes knows the pitfalls of spending a life roaming the streets with nothing to do and no goals in life.

“I was on the streets as a youngster myself and I know how their minds operate,” Fes reveals.

“Thankfully I got myself out. Now I see kids in the position where I was, almost at a crossroads in life and not knowing which direction to go. So I go out and speak to them in their style and tell them about what boxing can get you – the respect, the money, the fame and the girls! That’s usually enough for them to actually listen to me and youngsters usually have a lot of aggression built up inside them so I get them to take it out in a positive way by taking them on the pads. They always say thank you and always appreciate it. I have sent many youngsters to boxing gyms after literally seeing them causing trouble in the streets. Boxing can cure a lot of violence issues in my opinion especially with the Asian community.”

And one youngster who Fes is keen on passing his experience and knowledge on to is younger brother Mohammed, an 18-year-old student.

“Mohammed is really keen on boxing and everything I learn from the Mayweather camp I pass on to him. He’s doing really well and he could be boxing soon!”

For the time being, Fes is focussed on his own development as a boxer.

And with the lights of Las Vegas beckoning him, the 21-year-old knows he has the drive, determination and fight to become another British boxing champion.

“With the help of the Mayweather’s I know I can use this to my advantage and become a World Champion one day just like Amir Khan was. It’s a long road away but I know I can do it.”

 

To keep up to date on Fes’s progress log onto his Facebook Fan Page

 

Boxer Fes Batista is hoping to use his experience to promote unity amongst Brits, Americans and Muslims worldwide. His fan T-shirt – pictured below – is a prime example of this. The t-shirt is available to purchase for £10 and is available to buy now. Log onto his Facebook Fan Page for more information.

 

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