Middleweight Lutfullah Quryshi, 27, will be making his professional debut on the ‘Fire & Ice’ card on the 14th of April. The Sanigar promoted evening of boxing will also be shown on Welsh TV channel S4C.
Lutfullah Quryshi known as Lotti, was born in Afghanistan but moved to the UK at the age of fifteen. He now boxes at the same gym as Lee Selby – St. Joseph’s Boxing Gym, Newport, Wales.
I caught up with him at the gym for a Q & A.
How did you first get into boxing?
When I was a child I always had a passion for the sport. I didn’t know where to begin but when I headed to the gym in my youth, I was pretty good with my hands. I started when I was seventeen, I was in the gym then out of the gym. But, for the past five years, I stuck to it.
What was your amateur record?
I had about twelve amateur bouts for Splott ABC (in Cardiff), I boxed there for two or three years. I’ve got a sports background but I never stuck to a sport properly. Then, when I came to the Splott Gym I had twelve or thirteen contests.
Why did you decide to turn professional?
While I was an amateur, I was training very hard and I find myself very dedicated. I was doing what other boxers were doing. I said to myself “let’s give it a go”. I have the love, passion for the sport and I like to fight.
Who’re your professional team?
My trainer is Tony Borg. He’s given me a lot of help and support. He’s more than a trainer, he advises me inside of boxing and outside as well. Tony sorted out a promoter for me, which is Chris Sanigar. I’m in a good place. I’ve got a really good inner peace and I’ve got good people around me in the gym. It’s such a good atmosphere and every time I come here I enjoy myself.
Where are you from originally?
I’m from Afghanistan. Lived in Wales for over a decade. I’m married, with two children. Lived in Cardiff, over 10 years.
When is your first professional fight?
April 14th, at the Ice Arena, in Cardiff. I’m really looking forward to it. Such a huge opportunity for my first pro fight and such a huge show. Can’t ask more than that. I’m blessed.
On a daily basis, I’m learning with Tony Borg. He’s teaching me the right stuff every day. Such a talented coach, very skilled coach.
Have you been getting good sparring?
I do a lot of sparring with Fred Evans, Mitch Buckland, some good talent here. I’ve got a brilliant coach, good atmosphere, good people around me. Lee Selby’s my friend, he’s giving me tips all the time – sparring and diet-wise. Andrew Selby is a good friend as well, talk to him most of the time. All the people here are lovely. They’re all helping each other.
Do you know who you’ll be fighting on your debut?
It’s going to be announced next week. I’m blessed, it’s such a massive event and I want to bring my best to show the boxing world.
What’s your minimum aim in the sport?
The main plan is to be World champion. I’m not going to do that tomorrow, it’s going to be in four or five years time. That’s when I’ve set a goal for myself. To get to that level, I have to be dedicated and very disciplined. I have to have the right team behind me…which I have. I need to follow my team’s words, get on and do the work. Train hard, fight easy. I have the motivation and love for the sport.
Favourite part of training?
Knowledge of boxing. When I came to this gym for the first day, Tony Borg saw that I had the strength and can fight but I didn’t have the knowledge behind my boxing skills. So, the main part of it to really make me a better fighter, is the knowledge Tony Borg delivers to me. This is the main part of my boxing – the knowledge, the tactics everything comes from Tony Borg. Strength and conditioning, I can do that. I can run, that is fun. The main part of it is Tony Borg, every time he gives me his knowledge I can see the improvement…bang on.
How would you describe your fighting style?
I see myself as the old-fashioned way of standing toe-to-toe. Some people call it Mexican.
Who wins Anthony Joshua or Joseph Parker?
I think Anthony Joshua, I like him. I’ve met him at Finchley Boxing club. He’s such a good, talented boxer. He’s got the height and power. Parker is a good fighter but not fought at Joshua’s level.
How can people get hold of tickets?
They can contact me on facebook or phone the number on my fight poster.