Shamim aims to be the best

Shamim Khan is aiming to become ABA Elite champion
Shamim Khan is aiming to become ABA Elite champion

AMATEUR boxing star Shamim Khan is hoping to win through to the National ABA Elite Championships 51kg final on Saturday, writes Mark Wood.

The 27-year-old British Army boxer secured an 11-10 points victory over Raza Hamza (Aston) on Sunday and will now take on Joel Spragg (Spennymoor) at the semi-finals in Newcastle this weekend.

Khan, who is now a petroleum engineer based in Aldershot but went to Halyard High School, is hoping that his exploits might even be enough for him to earn an England vest.

On his victory and success, Private Khan said: “He was very tall, he had the experience on me and the height on me.

“He was a very good kid and favourite to win, but I managed to beat him in a close bout.

“He has had 70 bouts and that was my 21st or 22nd.

“It would be a wicked achievement to reach the final, but just being a semi-finalist is a big achievement.”

Marcus Hodgson (Launceston) and Joe McCully (Bexley) fight in the other semi-final and, if successful, Khan would face the winner at York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Friday, April 13.

Khan, whose family still live in Leagrave, has only been boxing for six and a half years and is one of two Combined Services fighters left.

He qualified by winning the inter-service event back in March and has also progressed through the pre-quarter and quarter-finals.

His semi-final is set to be screened on Hatton TV and, as well as hoping to win selection for an England team, he may also consider going pro while remaining in the Armed Forces.

He admitted: “I would like to go through that way and down the line, I would take it up, but it depends if you get a good promoter.

“I would like to get a few more bouts under my belt. It’s still a learning curve.

“I would like to have at least 60 bouts before I go pro and maybe wait until after next year and go up a weight.”

Khan, who lost on his debut, has only been defeated three times and made a real impact late last year as he beat Tom Payne of the US Marine Corps in a special fundraising event at the Royal Albert Hall.

That victory helped the British forces to a 5-4 triumph against the Americans and there is talk the two countries could fight again, but this time in the States.

Enthused Khan added: “They’ve been in touch with our embassy.

“They want to host us instead of us hosting them again.

“They said Washington DC. That would be awesome.”