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Boxing: Atif’s First noteworthy win is a takeaway

Atif Shafiq lands a blow on  Ibrar Riyaz

Atif Shafiq lands a blow on Ibrar Riyaz

Atif Shafiq does not get paid for overtime in his dad’s City Road takeaway so he decided not to hang around on Saturday night either.

Lightweight Shafiq’s ‘shift’ against Reading’s Ibrar Riyaz lasted all of two minutes, nineteen seconds as the teenager from Rotherham scored a noteworthy win at the first ever boxing show at Leeds’ First Direct Arena.

Riyaz, a tough veteran of 56 fights, had only ever been stopped twice before and never as quickly as what the Ingle-trained Shafiq forced.

The blitzkrieg wipeout was not noticeably hurtful but the barrage of unanswered shots left referee Michael Alexander concerned enough to step in.

Shafiq’s eighth straight win in a year was his best.

He said: “To be honest I could have done that in a few of my fights but I really stepped it up this time. It’s been a busy year and if I can do the same next year I’ll be sixteen unbeaten and I think I’ll be ready for the British title around my 21st birthday.”

Also on the card, Dronfield middleweight Lewis Taylor, 23, moved onto a dozen unbeaten with a win over the fading Max Maxwell.

Once a dangerman who contested the British title, the Birmingham-based Jamaican’s now on the slide and was consigned to a 25th straight defeat by a patient Taylor.

There was an even exchange in the third and this was likely the round that Maxwell shared as Taylor took the decision 80-73. Doncaster’s Jamie McDonnell’s stripped world IBF title is back in the hands of Sheffield promoter Dennis Hobson after his fighter Stuart Hall beat South African Vusi Malinga in the main event.

Malinga was down in the third and Hall, who was beaten by McDonnell in 2011, had to shake off a closed left eye to claim the belt.

“He’s the toughest man I’ve ever shared a ring with,” said Hall. “I panicked a bit sometimes but I dug in and I really wanted it.”

 

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