Stealthy Shafiq now ready for action

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Seven unbeaten with no knockouts, Atif Shafiq’s is going under the radar and on paper at least he looks nothing special.

Just another average kid? Then why are the weathered, old boxing hacks nudging and winking at each other when he boxes?

The 19-year-old Ingle-trained lightweight from Rotherham has his own theory on the matter.

“I’m class,” he declared, before going on to explain his statement.

“I’m that confident because I’ve put all the hard work in. People who are talking about me clearly know their stuff.

“The knockouts haven’t come yet because nobody has come to fight.”

After going through a virtual who’s-who of the nation’s journeyman on more renowned fighters’ undercards, Shafiq has still shone.

Shafiq now has someone a bit more willing to engage in a fight this weekend at the maiden show at Leeds Arena but it’s still a veteran that the youngster faces in his eighth professional outing.

Reading’s Ibrar Riyaz has been around the block with 55 professional appearances but has just won four.

Shafiq does not want to slip up as he plans to move on to the next stage of his career in 2014.

“Ibrar is a tough guy and from what I’ve seen he does come for a little bit of a fight,” added Atif.

“I’m with the right team because Barry’s [Kid Galahad] career is a little similar to how mine started.”