Rotherham lightweight Atif Shafiq says he is ready to step up to 10-round fights - and believes he can be a British title contender in 2016.
The 21-year-old won his 16th professional fight out of 17 last weekend in Surrey, beating Spanish-based welterweight Santos Medrano, who declined to continue after three rounds.
The Sheffield Ingle boxer was delighted by the way the fight went. “Santos weighed in at 10st 8lbs I was 10st 3lbs, but I still got in there and got the job done” he said. “I stayed switched-on and did what I do.
“In the first two rounds I let my right hand go, it was a bit too much with him being a southpaw, but in the third round, I was working off my left hand and I hit him with some beautiful shots.
“I could see in his eyes that he was ready to go.
“I thought if he was going to come out for the fourth I was going to get him out of there. But he had had enough.
“I was landing the jabs, the left hooks, his nose was bleeding, he didn’t want to be in there, to be honest.”
Shafiq said the win was only what should have been expected of him.
“Kids like this I should be getting out of there, I am ready for the step ups. Area level? I am passed that, I think English or eliminators for the British - 10 round fights. I feel I am ready for them and when they come I will take them with both hands” he told IFL TV.
Shafiq thinks he may be two to three good fights away from competing at British level. “So towards the end of next year, six to 12 months,I believe I will be ready.”