SHOAIB Yusaf became the new Celtic Challenge Thai Boxing champion last week, defeating the highly-rated three-time British and two-time Celtic champion Ryan Hampson.
Shoaib, who already holds the 60kg North West area belt, was in devastating form as he easily battered Hampson with kicks, knees and punches to his head, body and legs.
The Nelson and College student, who fights under Paul Murphy from Burnley Thai Boxing, easily won each of the five championship rounds to take Hampson’s title.
Right from the off Shoaib was aggressive, coming forward and hurting Hamson with big body punches and kicks to his legs.
Round two was no different, and Hampson was constantly on the retreat as Shoaib really started to enjoy his work, landing some very big uppercuts to the jaw of the tough Salford lad.
By round three the Burnley fighter was in total control and was picking Hampson off with precision body kicks and more leg kicks.
Round four saw Shoaib take hold of his opponent and start to despatch knees to his ribs, which really made the young Salford fighter wince in pain.
The final round was again a very much one-sided affair and the whole crowd were now on Shoaib’s side, even though the fight took place in Ryan’s own back yard, right in the heart of Salford.
Shoaib was relentless with his attacks but somehow Ryan held on for the fight to go the distance.
The judges were unanimous, each of them scoring the fight 50-45 to the Burnley fighter.
This was some achievement as Ryan had only been beaten three times before out of 30 fights, and besides holding three versions of the British title, he has also scored two victories over the current European champion.
Paul Murphy, Shoaib’s trainer, said: “Shoaib will be a world champion, of that I am convinced.
“He has enormous talent and he is a model student.
“He doesn’t drink or smoke and he never misses training.
“The boy is a class act and I am extremely proud of him.”
Burnley had three other fighters also competing on the same card.
Adam Windle took on the Southern Area champion Branden Willoughby from the world-famous Touch Gloves gym.
Adam easily controlled Brad and took each round from him with some expert kicks and brilliant clinch-work.
Adam who already holds five titles, including the English crown, and King of the Ring title, will now be looking to fight for the British title or the Celtic belt in his next fight.
Murphy said: “Adam is another one who I am convinced will lift the world title one day.
“His clinch work is the best I have ever seen for someone of his age and his all-round Thai Boxing skills are at times, breathtaking.”
Also on the card were Junaid Yousaf and Mohammed Ali.
Junaid, who is the current North West champion, took on Jack Smith from pure impact, easily outpointing him by use of some very strong knees.
Mohammed also looked very composed in only his second bout and made it two victories out of two.
Next up for the Burnley club are Charlotte Derbyshire, who is taking on the current Celtic champion on September 1st.
Also in action later in the month is Burnley’s North West champion Rob Lupton, who will be venturing down to Southampton to fight for the very prestigious King of the Ring belt.
Anybody wanting to tickets to either of these fights can contact Paul Murphy on 07810 453960.