Boxing: Plucky Nav can join pantheon of top South Yorkshire fighters

Navid Mansouri after his win over Sheedy
Navid Mansouri after his win over Sheedy
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Nav Mansouri can legitimately be regarded as one of South Yorkshire’s prime boxing talents if he successfully comes through his next challenge.

The 26-year-old English light middleweight champion will be aiming to take the British belt off Welshman Liam Williams, at Harrow, London, on April 2.

Mansouri is a skilled, durable and brave fighter, but hasn’t always had the profile he deserves in his home county.

Some fans still believe he was fortunate to be handed the points win against Sheffield’s Sam Sheedy last July - similar questions were raised back in 2013 when he defeated Ingle challenger Tyan Booth.

But Mansouri, who has had to overcome more than his fair share of injuries, will rightfully take his place among his peer group if he ends Williams’ 14-match unbeaten run and takes the Lonsdale Belt off him. Especially as he has only boxed twice since February 2014.

Mansouri has made up for lost time with an excellent training camp. He has been sparring with world champion Kell Brook and been helping Derry Matthews prepare, in Spain, for his WBO World lightweight title against Terry Flanagan in March.

Nav Mansouri and Kell Brook

Nav Mansouri and Kell Brook

Twenty-three year old Williams, who also beat Booth in 2013, has tweeted that he is “looking forward to this one.”

He too was not that active last year - boxing just once in December, a British and Commonwealth title victory over Kris Carslaw.

n Sheffield welterweight Wayne Reed takes on Lancashire’s Shayne Singleton in Wigan tonight.