KID GALAHAD believes the fact he held his own with a genuine world champion contender is proof that he is ready to make the step up to the top level of the sport.
After just 13 fights, the Sheffield boxer, (aka Abdul Barry Awad) was picked as a sparring partner recently by Argenis Mendez.
The Dominican is training ahead of his IBF super featherweight match with Juan Carlos Salgado on March 9 in California.
Mendez sparred with a few British boxers, but ensured his hit-list included Galahad, the WBC International super bantamweight champ.
Describing the spar at the Ingle gym, Galahad said: “He’s obviously world class yet I wouldn’t say he was that far above me. I have sparred for years with Kell Brook, Junior Witter, Johnny Nelson and Ricky Burns, so I wasn’t going to be fazed by him.”
Asked what he learned from the exercise, the 22-year-old stylist replied: “I could see he was not the type who would make many mistakes. And if another boxer made them, he’d know how to capitalise straight away. If you dropped your left hand too low, for example, he’s soon spot that and move in on it. He is a very intelligent, fast boxer. But I hardly ever get hit by clean shots and I did alright against him. It was good.”
Galahad said Mendez had been pleased with the spar. “He’d been sparring in Manchester, where they had gone straight at him. But I was more canny and he liked that.”
Galahad is awaiting confirmation of his next fight, probably a defence of his International title, on March 23, at the Bluewater in Kent, featuring James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr.
The Sheffielder is rated 14th in the world at 122 lbs, six places behind European champion Carl Frampton, from Northern Ireland.
n Fir Vale prospect Waleed Din is willing to ‘sacrifice everything’ in his pursuit of reaching the top.
Din, 20, who trains at Sheffield Lane Top ABC, will begin his quest for an Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) title next week. The first step is the Yorkshire preliminaries at Colley Club, Parson Cross, on Thursday. And after an impressive points win last Friday in Newcastle against 27-year-old Gary Reeve, Din - winner of the 2011 Clubs for Young People National title - is full of confidence.
He told The Star: “Every amateur’s dream is to win an Elite ABA title and have a chance to represent England. It’s a long hard road ahead but I’m willing to sacrifice everything I have to become the best in this art called boxing.”
Din, who intends to enter the Elite Senior ABAs at the 48kg category, trains six times a week.
Also a talented runner he finished 40th out of 7,000 runners in last year’s Great Yorkshire Run over 10 kilometres. But it is boxing where his future lies, says his coach Keith Palmer.
“Waleed starting boxing with us at the age of 16,” Palmer said. “He’s one of the most dedicated boxers I have come across in 25 years. The younger boxers look up to him for both advice and support. He’s in the shape of his life all due to his hard work and dedication.
“He definitely has the potential to go all the way.”