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Debutant Watch - Aji Sharif


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http://static.boxrec.com/wiki/c/c6/Ajishariff.jpgReading’s Aji Sharif is the focus of this instalment of Debutant Watch. Fighting out of the Bulmershe gym under coach Andy Edge, Aji is ready to be unleashed on the domestic cruiserweight division. Aji, 30, fought as a heavyweight in the amateurs and with lots of hard work and dedication he has shifted three stones in weight during the preparation for his professional career. Aji will make his debut at the York Hall this Saturday night in a four rounder against Preston’s Paul Morris.

What made you want to start boxing?

“I first started boxing when I was about 15 and I used to go to the local club in Reading where Michael Sprott was training. Michael pulled me to one side and said I had a good punch on me and I should stick to boxing.

“I was young at the time and I just drifted away from boxing. As the years went by I got into weight training and body building and won a competition, so after that I made my mind up that I would have a go at boxing as I have always had a passion for the sport.”

Did you have a boxing idol when you were younger?

“I was always into Mike Tyson when I was younger, I loved his aggressive style.”

Did you do much amateur boxing?

“Before the amateurs I had a few white collar bouts. Then I had 8 amateur bouts and went straight into the novice ABA’s as a Heavyweight and the only loss I had was against Anthony Joshua and we were both undefeated at the time.”

How do you know the time is right to turn pro?

“Even fighting as an amateur people told me I had more of a professional style. I wasn’t a big fan of the scoring system either. Michael Sprott was also telling me to turn pro so I made the decision and feel I am ready now.”

Do you see a difference in the pro and amateur codes?

“The amateur game is more rushed and is all about trying to score points. As a pro you get much more time to think and you have to plant your feet and make the punches count. One of my old coaches always told me the amateurs is a sprint and the pro game is more of a jog!”

Do you work full-time alongside boxing?

“I am training full time for this fight. Me and my brother own a gym locally with weights and that so I help him with that as much as I can. At the moment training for my debut is most important to me.”

What sort of fighting style do you have?

“People say I have a style similar to Tyson. I like to mix up it and throw body shots a lot too. Because I am quite aggressive I will be a pressure fighter. I have an exciting style that people will like to come and watch.”

What ambitions/expectations do you have for your pro career?

“I have lost three stone before turning pro which I think shows how dedicated I am to boxing. I want to go all the way. I have told Steve Goodwin that in around 18 months I want to be ready to challenge for the British title. I am always in great condition so if I get the chance to fight every month then I will. I just want to win as many titles as I can.”





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