A Matchroom show rolls into Newcastle, BBB gets in the groove. A tale as old as time. Get ready for a new take on that popular pattern as we delve North of the border. One boxer is taking the next step in his pro career and making his Matchroom debut on the Lewis Ritson-Miguel Vazquez undercard on 4th April.
That man is Kash Farooq. Not many men get snapped up by the big boys on the back of a loss but that is exactly the situation Farooq now finds himself in. While that snippet doesn’t quite tell the whole story, it is fairly straight forward for Farooq.
“I think Eddie Hearn was watching the fight and liked my style and was interested in signing me. So he contacted my manager a couple of weeks after the fight.”
For those that don’t know, the fight in question was the fourth defence of his British title. It was also a challenge for the Commonwealth title against fellow unbeaten Scot, Lee McGregor. Farooq can consider himself beyond unfortunate to be on the receiving end of a split decision loss. Still every cloud has a similar lining, and the likeable Scottish bantamweight clearly has no regrets about his 0 having to go.
“I performed great on the night and stuck to the game plan which neutralised Lee’s game plan and got a lot of new fans and a lot of media attention, due to the controversial scoring.”
While Scotland has had success on the world stage, Farooq became the first British bantamweight champion since Drew Docherty in 1997. For the 118 lb division to go so long without a Scottish Lonsdale belt-holder, to then have 2 in succession is remarkable.
Farooq, has come just as far geographically as he has in a boxing sense.
“I’m originally from Pakistan, I came to Scotland at a young age and [have] lived in Glasgow most of my life. My friend took me to the gym near my house and that was the start of my boxing career and I fell in love with boxing.”
As ever with love, there were tough times to surmount. Farooq reflected on his route into the sport and the longstanding ambition to be a success in the paid ranks.
“After both my trainers sadly passed away, I met Craig Docherty who advised me to turn pro with Iain Wilson and it has been my long term goal since I started boxing.”
All too often we hear that prospects should challenged themselves and be willing to take risks in matchmaking. It is all too easy for fans to chastise boxers for not doing so, then be first in line to dismiss a fighter after a loss. Yet, here is the proof in the pudding. A hugely talented, successful young boxer who – despite losing – is on an upward curve and is looking to bounce back, starting April 4th.