Qais Ashfaq will be hellbent on showing that he’s still got star power when his eagerly-awaited return to the ring arrives.
That happens when BCB Promotions return to the Eastside Rooms, on Woodcock Street in Birmingham, as part of a Saturday fight night (July 30).
The talented southpaw was due to end a near two-year hiatus from action on July 1, but a late call-off saw him switched to a BCB offering.
Big things are still expected of the 29-year-old super bantamweight, from Leeds, who has already claimed a WBA Continental crown in the pro ranks.
He finds himself in a transitional period, though, having severed ties with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing, also changing coaches from Angel Fernandez to Lee Beard.
Ashfaq holds pro victories over the likes of Ashley Lane and Joe Ham with just one loss, on points to Marc Leach. His paid record stands at 9-1, with four KOs.
He was a decorated amateur and competed at the 2016 Olympic Games, claiming a silver medal at the previous year’s Commonwealth Games.
Ashfaq hasn’t undertaken competitive combat since removing Lane, in four rounds, at the end of 2020, but hasn’t let his spell on the sidelines go to waste.
He said: “This is my first fight with Lee (Beard) and he’s been training me for about a year now. It’s made a big difference and you will see the improvements.
“I parted ways with Matchroom, a few months ago, but I’m looking to move on to something big, soon, and we’ve had talks with other promoters.
“I’ve had some niggling injuries, I actually ended up having an operation on both of my elbows. Each op was just before Ramadan, over two years, so I timed that well!
“I’ve been boxing for 22 years and I had over 200 bouts, so it’s not as if I haven’t got lots of experience. I just need to get the ball rolling again.
“I still feel young, so maybe the rest has done me some good. I’ve been out of the ring for 19 months, but I’m back to full fitness and ready to go.
“I don’t believe in ring rust, because I’m always in the gym and I’ve had lots of sparring, day in and day out, so I should be able to pick up where I left off.
“I’ve boxed on big stages and had some good wins. I’ve only lost once (as a pro) and I took that one in too much of a rush, which I learned my lesson from.
“There are friends of mine who have already got to the top, like Joe Cordina (IBF world champion). He told me not to think about what anyone else is doing.
“I’m on my own journey and this is another step on the path. I’ll always go for the stoppage, if the chance is there, but I take it as it comes.”
Tickets for the Eastside Rooms bill are available, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside with buffet, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.