Rotherham heavyweight Kashi Ali says he's a threat to any fighter in the division after winning IBF belt in Sheffield

Rotherham heavyweight Kashi Ali says he is a threat to any fighter in the division after winning the IBF European belt convincingly in Sheffield.

Sunday, 30th May 2021, 11:28 am

The 29-year-old stopped Czech Tomas Salek in the third round on Friday night, having dropped his opponent in the second, to take his record to 19-1 with his only blemish a disqualification for infamously biting David Price in 2019.

"It feels great," said Ali. "I paced myself a bit and landed a shot we've been working on in the gym and got him out of there.

"I feel like I'm coming into my prime now. I'm a threat to anyone in the heavyweight division."

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Salek arrived for the outdoors show at Sheffield Arena with 13 knockouts from his 17 previous fights – and just two defeats – but was second best on the night.

Ali blooded his nose in round two before flooring him moments later with a well-timed uppercut.

Ali continued to use the uppercut to good effect and finished the job in round three to claim his fourth consecutive win since serving a six-month suspension for infamously biting Price.

Ali added: “I’ll keep my teeth for smiling from now on, I promise. I did say that I was going to let my fists do the talking, and I definitely did.”

Kash Ali training at Ryan Rhodes' boxing gym.

Speaking before the fight, the Richard Towers-trained fighter stated his ambitions to fight for world titles.

He told The Star: “I want the British public to get behind me. I genuinely believe that I could be a world champion. The minute I think I can’t do it I won't be in this sport.”