IBF European heavyweight champion Kash Ali to defend belt against Roman Gorst in Sheffield

Kash Ali is set to make the first defence of his IBF European heavyweight title against German Roman Gorst in Sheffield later this month.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 3:58 pm

The Rotherham fighter (19-1, 10 knockouts), who is trained by former Steel City heavyweight Richard Towers, won the belt in May after producing a devastating third-round knockout to beat Tomas Salek and earn the biggest victory of his career so far.

He will be back out on Saturday, 18 September at Ponds Forge as he seeks to fend off the challenge of 32-year-old contender Grost, who has six knockouts from his eight fights since turning professional in 2018, with one solitary points defeat on his record.

“Everything went right against Salek,” said Ali, “we trained hard, sparred hard and it was my best performance yet.

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IBF European heavyweight champion Kash Ali.

"It was clean cut, good boxing and I took him out in style. We worked on the uppercut, I caught him early on, knew I’d hurt him, and it was the shot that finished him.”

Ali added: “I’ve seen one of Gorst’s fights. He’s got heavy hands and has stopped most of his opponents. He seems like a decent boxer too. His record speaks for itself. He can’t be lucky – he’s knocked out six, and lost on points to a decent kid, so he’s definitely not to be underestimated.

“I’ll just focus on what I do and get the win, no matter what. It may go one round or ten rounds, but I have the power and when I hit him it will have an effect on him. I’ll focus on my boxing and if an opening comes, I’ll take him out.”

A 2019 disqualification for biting former Olympic bronze medallist David Price is the only blemish on Ali’s record.

The 29-year-old has spoken of his desire to fight at world level, having previously sparred with the likes of Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury as well as Derek Chisora, who has decamped to Rotherham to train at Dave Coldwell’s gym in Masbrough.