Khalid Ayub: excitement builds over Sheffield prospect after impressive pro debut

Hyperbole is as common as trash talk in boxing, but Sheffield-based prospect Khalid Ayub could be one to watch.

Friday, 1st October 2021, 6:00 am

The 19-year-old light heavyweight from Mytholmroyd, near Halifax, who trains at Riley’s Boxing & Fitness Centre in Grimesthorpe, has been boxing since his dad bought him a punch ball at the age of just three.

After a decorated amateur career, which included four national titles, two British titles and no fewer than seven Yorkshire titles, Khalid turned professional in 2020, signing with management company MTK Global.

He earned a points win on his professional debut in Leeds earlier this month – and now could be set for a slot on the undercard of Kid Galahad’s first title defence at Sheffield Arena on 13 November.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sheffield-trained prospect Khalid Ayub at Riley's Boxing & Fitness Centre.

“The kid has got so much potential it’s unreal,” said manager Tom Stalker, GB Boxing captain at the 2012 London Olympics, which saw the emergence of Anthony Joshua, Nicola Adams and Luke Campbell.

"I’m so excited about the future he’s going to have. He had a fantastic pro debut, he looked a million dollars.”

Khalid, whose younger brother Nile plays for Sheffield United's academy, is trained by esteemed coach Alwyn Belcher, who has previously set the likes of Carl Froch, David Haye and Amir Khan on the road to world titles.

“He’s been looking very good,” Alwyn told The Star.

"He can go a long, long way, he just needs to sharpen his feet up a little bit.”

Khalid's dad, Gee, added: “I was a bit shocked (with his debut) because I was nervous, it’s a big change from amateur to pro.

"It was absolutely brilliant. He had been out of the ring for two and a half years but there was no rust, he was spot on.”

Tom expects Khalid to fight ‘at least’ five times in the next 12 months as he continues his progression, but insists he won’t be rushed.

He said: “I just want him to get his learning fights and progress at a slow pace.

"It’s about getting the right fights at the right time. He hasn’t even got his man strength yet, he’s only a baby.

"For me, it’s just about learning your trade. He’s someone I’m very excited about and with MTK behind him he’s going to get some really big opportunities.”