CLECKHEATON trainer Keith Tate is backing one of his latest talents to take the boxing world by storm.
Tate claims 15-year-old Ismail Khan has the potential to reach the top of the sport, having guided him to nine amateur victories in 11 bouts.
So far in 2013, Khan has swept aside a Three Nations champion, a former national champion and a current England boxer.
And Tate, who coached local professional stars Gary Sykes and Tony Aitcheson during their amateur days as well as current KBW puncher Ashley Vanzie, says he has big plans for ‘2 Slick’ Khan.
“He has been fighting out of this gym for almost two years now and he is doing very well,” said Tate.
“Ismail is a mover, a counter-puncher, a superb boxer and when his opponents miss he makes them pay.
“He can really do it, he has plenty of talent and he is definitely a name for the future.
“I have big plans for Ismail. When he eventually turns progressional, though, in say three or four years’ time, I believe he needs to be with a big-name promoter.
“He’s very dedicated to the sport and he will train every night if I ask him to. I think he can do big things.
“He has had 11 fights with me and only lost two of them, both of which have come in national events.”
Born and raised in Leeds, Khan says he became attracted to the area after hearing of Tate’s recent success stories and travels at least four times a week for training and sparring.
“I had heard about Keith and what he has done with other boxers and I was very interested,” admitted Khan.
“Boxing is the sport I love and I just want to keep working hard at it, Keith trains me brilliantly here.
“There is a great atmosphere in the gym, with plenty of talented boxers coming through, and the facilities are great.”
The 46kg fighter beams confidence and is adamant he can one day become a household name at professional level.
He added: “By the time I am 25 I want to have won a world title.
“Staying focused at a young age can be really hard at times, but I want to become the best – to do that you must train hard and fight easy.”