Customers at the newsagents in Worrall are used to hearing all about boxing as Sheffield champion Kid Galahad was regularly seen stacking shelves and serving the public on the till, whilst working for his uncle Ariff Nassa.
However there must be something ‘knock-out’ special about the shop as waiting in the wings is a whole line of boxing brothers rearing to follow in the family footsteps and go all the way to the top in the profession.
Meet the Nassa boys who all have fights lined up for Novemeber 30 at the Octagon centre and work their training around helping out at the family business whilst studying at Sheffield Hallam University.
Ramzy, 21, and his 20-year-old brother Pharys turned professional earlier this year and have won their first three fights whilst Loua, 19 who only recently followed his brothers into the pro ring has won his first fight.
“Galahad is a great guy and all the boys look up to what he has achieved and want to do just as well as him or better,” explained dad Ariff, who began coaching his sons from the age of four.
“My sons used to see him every day at the shop and just talk about boxing constantly. They train at different gyms but still chat now and they know if he can do it then they certainly can.”
Ramzy added: “He is a real inspiration and boxing is definitely in the blood. Our granddad moved from the Yemen in 1956 and became an amateur boxer over here, then our dad became known as ‘the boxer boy’s son’ and, well, look at us.”
“We don’t view Galahad as competition he is just someone we look up to and I really believe we can all become just as good or better and that makes us train harder every day.”
Sheffield’s European champion is coached by Dublin-born Brendan Ingle in the city whilst all three brothers train at Firth Park where they are coached by former professional light middle-weight boxer Keith Palmer.
The head coach, who lives in Heeley, believes the brothers are set to break all manner of boxing records due to the “healthy competition” within the family.
“It’s so rare to be coaching a set of siblings and it’s very exciting for me because these boys really are something special and they are so dedicated to get to the very top of the profession,” the 44-year-old said.
“It will take time to develop them into champions but I truly believe all of the brothers have the potential to be competing for titles.
“Half the battle with boxing is hard work and determination and that is everything the boys are about. There havebeen many good fighters who have been good technically but due to their lack of commitment they haven’t made it, this won’t happen here.
“I want to be part of this journey and the boys want to show the world how good they are because they are all aiming to break records.”
Fellow siblings Hakeem, 17 and Raed 16, are following in their brothers boxing footsteps and also train with Keith whilst completing their studies, at varying levels, at Tapton School.
Education has always played an important role in Nassa family life, differing from Galahad’s, real name Abdul-Bari Awad, tearaway youth which saw him expelled from school and banned from travelling on all public transport in the city.
“Abdul was in and out of trouble as a youngster but the boys have always been completely different to that,” explained Ariff, the former kick boxer.
“I have always instilled into them the importance of a good education and I want them to be boxers with brains.
“There can be a stereotypical image of boxers being thugs outside the ring but this family isn’t like that. They have always been a credit to their schools and push themselves at university level.”
Pharys, who is in his second year of studying Quantity surveying at Sheffield Hallam University added: “It’s always been stressed to do well at school. We must be the most competitive family in the UK because we aim to do the best in the ring and the classroom.”
Ariff, is also the proud father of two younger children, Zane, 8 and daughter Sama, 3 with wife Afrah, who are also showing a keen interest in the sport, despite their tender age.
“The children love watching the boys train in the back yard at home and take part in little sprints and jogs with the boys,” explained Ariff.
“At the moment the family is aiming to have five professional boxing brothers but who knows the little ones may take up the sport too.
Mum Afrah added: “We are all in this together and one brother’s success is all of our success. They will all achieve great things and I’m so proud to be the mother of such dedicated and talented children.”
The Nassa boxing brothers have signed up with Sheffield manager and promoter Dennis Hobson and are looking for sponsorship to cover the costs for training and future fights. Interested parties are asked to call 07899894215 or email Nassaboxing@hotmail.com
For more information about tickets for the November 30 Octagon centre fights ring 07899894215 and follow them on Facebook @NassaBoxing