Atif Shafiq raring to go in bid for winning return

Atif Shafiq struggled in a surprise defeat to Cesar Abdon last time out
Atif Shafiq struggled in a surprise defeat to Cesar Abdon last time out
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Atif Shafiq says he is ready to take out the frustration of a first career defeat on tonight’s opponent Lee Connelly.

The Rotherham fighter is back in the ring for the first time since his surprise points defeat to Abdon Cesar in November.

And is his raring to go against Killamarsh’s Connelly at iceSheffield as he bids to get his career back on track.

“I was straight back in the gym on the Monday morning after that fight and it’s been where I can’t wait to get back in there ever since,” Shafiq told the Star.

“I’ve worked really hard on a few technical things that I was doing wrong in that fight and it all seems to have come together really well.

“I’m also going to stick at lightweight now.

“It wasn’t doing me any good getting down to super featherweight so I’m sticking with lightweight now and I think you’ll see the difference.”

Shafiq revealed he suffered a concussion during his bout with Cesar last year.

He said: “I can’t remember anything past the third round of that fight.

“Even now, I don’t really know what went on for the majority of it.”

Shafiq expects a tough test from Connelly tonight.

The Killamarsh fighter has shown his resilience in recent months, going to distance against fighters with strong records, including the fancied Peter Cope last time out.

Shafiq, however, has predicted a dominant win over Connelly tonight.

He said: “If I stick to what I’ve been working on then it should be a comfortable win for me.

“That’s no disrespect to Lee because he’s a good fighter. But I should be winning this.”

The card will be headlined by Doncaster’s Jason Cunningham’s attempt to win the vacant Commonwealth bantamweight title against Nasibu Ramadhani on Tanzania.

Other local fighters on the bill are Rotherham duo Kash Ali and Louis Rutherford.

Heavyweight Ali is looking to extend his 100 per cent record to nine fights against Kamil Sokolowski.

Light heavyweight Rutherford is looking for the first win of his pro career against Christian Hoskin Gomez after two defeats so far.