Boxing: Sacrifice is meat and drink to Atif Shafiq and Leon Field

Atif Shafiq
Atif Shafiq
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Boxers have to suffer for their art. Every scrap of food and drink has to be examined as they try to ‘make weight’ in their allotted division before fight night.

But two local fighters have it tougher than most.

Leon Field

Leon Field

You don’t get more temptation put across your path than when you work in a takeaway ... or a pub.

Atif Shafiq’s dad runs a foot outlet in City Road, Sheffield.

Shafiq says: “I help him out there on the weekends.

“It takes a lot of discipline. Some times I reach for a chip and then I remember: ‘Oops I can’t have this!’ But I have got to thank my sponsors for allowing me to be a full-time pro.”

Meanwhile, Chesterfield’s Leon Field has to avoid the demon drink when he is working at a pub in Wingerworth.

Trainer Chris Smedley says: “Leon is a pleasure to train and is in fantastic shape because he lives the life.

“Yes, he works in a pub as well as being a boxer but he is teetotal; he doesn’t touch the drink when the temptation must be strong!”

Rotherham-born Shafiq, a lightweight, says he’s training hard for the next opportunity that comes his way.

He lost his unbeaten record last November, but won his next fight against another local warrior, Lee Connelly, in May.

It was good to get back in there” said Shafiq. “I was a bit too eager but got the win.

“My confidence wasn’t low, to be honest, because I know what I am capable of and know the reasons why I had that slip-up.

“I’ve just got to work on staying relaxed and composed even when I have the opponent hurt.

“I’m always working on my fitness as you can never be too fit and also on a lot of technical stuff, which will show in my fights. I am Working on becoming complete fighter.”

The Wincobank-trained boxer says Brendan Ingle is still a huge asset.

“He is still in the gym every day giving out a lot of advice and he’s always there when ever anyone needs to talk,” he said.

“Kell (Brook) is working. We’ve been away to Fuertaventura training hard. Everyone is continuing the hard work we started over there.

“All the lads train hard alongside Kell. We all try to push him and keep him motivated through the hard training sessions.”

Rookie Field is preparing for his second fight at Magna, on October 17.

Smedley said: “His debut at Magna was a convincing win against awkward journey man Matt Seawright, but Leon showed plenty of quality.

“As an amateur he had 40 fights. He was a junior ABA finalist in 2010 and a Tri-nation silver medalist.

“He has added our movement and unorthodox style to what he already has, and the improvement was seen when he boxed superbly on his debut.”