Motherwell boxer Aqeel Ahmed is eyeing a Commonwealth Games gold medal next year after winning the British 49kg title for a third straight year.
Aqeel, a member of Newarthill’s Keir Hardie ABC, won every round against Welshman Ashley Williams in Cardiff earlier this month to complete a sensational hat-trick and put him on course for Commonwealth selection.
The Motherwell ace said: “I won on points after taking every round and it was boxing smart that did it for me.
“I was nervous but I boxed well.
“I got him with a few good right hands.
“After this win, I would be amazed if I wasn’t picked in the Scotland Commonwealth Games squad for the Gold Coast next year.
“I fancy myself to get a Commonwealth gold medal.
“I lost in the quarter-finals at the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow three years ago, but I’m a much better fighter now than I was then.
“The difference is night and day.”
Aqeel’s 49kg triumph at this year’s British Championships in Wales came after he’d landed the title in England in 2015 and again in Scotland 12 months ago.
He is believed to be the only Scottish boxer in the past two decades to have become a British champion for three years in a row.
To give Aqeel extra satisfaction with his British title win, it came against an opponent who’d beaten him in their three previous meetings.
“It was quite a hostile atmosphere as Williams was fighting in front of his home crowd,” Ahmed said.
“But I had the rest of the Scottish squad supporting me and to be fair they were loud as well. Williams was an Army boxer who is extremely fit so I had to get in tip top condition before facing him.
“I’ve trained very hard in the gym and my fitness levels have never been higher.”
Ahmed’s rich vein of form has seen him win 10 out of his last 11 fights.
This also included a success when boxing for Scotland at the recent European Championships in Serbia.
“I’m even more confident after that win,” added Aqeel, who will find out in December if he’s earned Commonwealth selection.