Ambitious Qais Gets Glasgow Call


Commonwealth Games 2014 Build Up

Qais Ashfaq is boxing’s newest superstar. Having joined the GB Boxing team in 2011, he has been able to excel amongst his peers, an achievement which has earned him a call to the National side at this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Often being compared to superstar Amir Khan and legend Sugar Ray Leonard, the youngster’s speed and agility has gotten him some attention. He spoke to The Asian Today.   


How does it feel to represent your country at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland this summer?


It’s amazing! I’ve been working hard for several years now. I’m proud and very privileged to be representing my country on a platform as big as the Commonwealth Games. I’m hoping through my hard work and the support from the nation that I will be able to inspire other youngsters to work hard in order to fulfil their dreams. I’m looking forward to winning the Gold medal for Team England, God willing.


Do you feel like you are ready for the challenge?


I feel like I’m more than ready for the challenge, despite being in one of the toughest weight categories in the competition, I know as long as I keep working hard up to the games, put my all into it and perform at the games then I’m more than capable of beating anyone and bringing home that Commonwealth Gold Medal.


What is the next biggest dream for you, Olympics or turning professional?


The next big dream after the Commonwealth Games is the Worlds, Europeans and Olympics, but mainly the Olympics. After that it is without a doubt the Professional ranks and one day becoming world champion. To be the best in the sport and at the top in my weight division!



Most boxers these days, the Khan Brothers most notably, turn professional after big successful tournaments such as the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. Does that look likely with you?


For me my plan is to win the Commonwealth Games Gold Medal this year, then win the Olympic Gold in Rio 2016 and after that turn professional, so pretty much similar to the Khan Brothers. The Olympics, without a doubt, is the best platform to the professional ranks, I will not be amature after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.



Does your training schedule change during Ramadan?


The training stays the same leading up to the Commonwealth Games to get the best possible preparation but obviously with fasting, my diet will change but when you’re fasting, you find the strength to endure all the challenges you face.



Who has been your inspiration?


A few people have inspired me, Muhammad Ali for the obvious reasons, the things he’s done in the sport, for the sport and out of the sport, Amir Khan because of his rise to the top and being from the same background as I am. He is the perfect example of why I can be at the top of the sport, he’s a good friend of mine and a bit of a mentor at times, he reminds me that he was the same sort of kid I am today with a dream and that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.


However amongst others I’ve always been particularly fond of Sugar Ray Leonard because of the way he boxes, just the other day one of my friends was telling me that he was watching him fight against Tommy Hearns and it reminded him of the way I box, that was flattering in itself but I have always loved his style, he had it all, speed, power, endurance, explosiveness and a lot of heart, which is essential in this sport. 


Why boxing?


Well boxing wasn’t always the plan, it was just something I stumbled upon at the age if eight when my uncle took me to the gym. I was always fond of the sport as my cousin also boxed and I used to see his trophies all the time so I went to the gym and kind of fell in love with the sport from that day I guess.



What is the ultimate aspiration?


My ultimate aspiration would be to be at the top of the professional ranks and win many world titles like Floyd Mayweather and others at the very top of the sport. I always aim for the highest positions because I believe that if you’re going to do something then don’t do it half heartedly, put your all into it!


It would be amazing to be able to provide for my whole family, as the likes of Mayweather and Khan do.


I would also like to put back in to the sport and guide youngsters in the right direction who have a passion for the sport and the determination to go all the way, I would love be able to set something up so the funding is there to provide them with the best facilities for their needs.



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