Sheffield’s Waleed Din aims to become Commonwealth champion on Saturday - and right a wrong that blighted his amateur career.
Din takes on Thomas Essomba on Saturday, the winner walking away with the Commonwealth flyweight title.
Din, an Amateur Boxing Association champion at 49 kilos in 2013, was beaten by Essomba in an ABA semi final in Liverpool last year.
“I was gutted about that, I wanted to create history by winning it for a second time. He got the split decision won over me, but there is no chance he should have won that” said Din, who lives in Fir Vale. “I am looking forward to fighting him again on Saturday, all the hard preparation is done. Essomba is tough with a come-forward style. But I know for a fact that I will be bringing something better than him to the table.”
Din, 22, who says he has prepared well during an eight week camp, believes he has always had a pro style.
“I like to pick my shots, plant my feet and let my hands go” he said. I think I have the complete style. My biggest asset is my boxing brain I know when to fight and I know when to move.”
Unbeaten Din, after seven fights, is the headline act on the show at Rotherham’s Magna Centre.
Essomba, a 27-year-old Cameroonian based in Tyne and Wear, has one defeat on his six fight CV.
The Keith Palmer-trained Sheffielder is a big fan of Kell Brook, who defends his world title a week on Saturday at the Sheffield Arena.
“Kell is another local lad and is a world champion, which is my ultimate aim” said Din. “I admire a lot of things about him, his boxing brain his strength, his speed. He has been in some tough fights and come out on top because of his grit and determination.
“He is strong at 147 pounds and I can see him beating his opponent (Diego Chaves) in the later rounds.”
Meanwhile, Sheffield boxer Ross Burkinshaw, whose future is in doubt after dislocating his right shoulder for the sixth time, has received messages of support from many sports people, including former Sheffield Wednesday and England midfielder Carlton Palmer.
Palmer posted on twitter: “ROSSTHEBOSS_B sorry to hear about your injury pal, you will be back - strong heart top man.”
The Beighton man replied: “These tweets have just cheered me up, that’s it, everything happens for a reason; one door closes & another opens.”