It was sweet revenge for Mohd Anas Shaikh of St Xavier’s (Fort), who beat defending champion Ahad Shaikh of Christ Church (Byculla) to win boys’ U-12 (under-25 kg weight category) gold at the Mumbai Schools Sports Association inter-school boxing championships at the District Sports Office (DSO) Dharavi Sports Complex on Saturday.
The win is even more impressive considering Anas weighs only 21 kg, but participated in a much higher weight category. Last year, the 11-year-old lost to the comparatively heavier Ahad (24 kg) in the final.
Anas, a Class VI student, began aggressively on Saturday displaying some quick footwork and stunning his opponent with a flurry of power-packed punches to dominate the proceedings. Ahad hit back in Round Two with a couple of hard punches but Anas prevailed in the end.
Anas’ father, Ashfaq Ahmed was a promising boxer, but gave up the sport later. His gloves though inspired Anas to enter the ring. “From the time I was five years old, I’ve heard a lot of stories about my father winning boxing medals at state and national-level meets. Unfortunately, I never got to witness his bouts. Before I was born, he started working as a make-up artist and was unable to give time to boxing.
“Later, his boxing gloves became my toy. I was so possessive about them that I wouldn’t let anyone touch it. Watching me take interest in the sport, two-years ago my father quit his job and got into coaching.
“My father dreamt of being an Olympic boxer, but his financial condition didn’t permit it. I want to work hard and win an Olympic medal for my country to fulfill my father’s dream,” said the resident of Haji Kasam Chawl in Byculla.
Christ Church win 10 medals
Meanwhile, Christ Church (Byculla) ended up with as many as 10 medals at the MSSA inter-school boxing championships at the District Sports Office (DSO) Sports Complex in Dharavi on Saturday. The Byculla school bagged six gold and four silver medals.