Liam’s Boxing Prospect To Watch: Ukashir Farooq
By Liam Lawer
British Champion, prospect. Few boxers move so fast that they can be considered both. Ukashir Farooq sits neatly in the middle of that Venn diagram, and we are only just beginning to discover where his potential can take him. Now 11-0-0, with 4 wins coming early, the 22-year-old is quietly becoming a star. But before we look forward, let’s have a little look back…
Born in Pakistan, the prodigious bantamweight relocated to Glasgow as a boy, representing his new home country multiple times throughout a respectable amateur career. Since turning pro in October 2015, he has carried this class over to the new ranks, while adapting well to the rigours and requirements brought with such change. He hasn’t had it easy however, and after just three fights found himself in with Scottish Area champion Scott Allan over 10 rounds. He beat the ‘Title Taker’ on points, and then took his title in a rematch 10 months later. This time he stopped him in eight.
On the back of three stoppages, the new Scottish champion got his chance to reign the whole kingdom. Jamie Wilson, who had pushed Josh Wale to the brink in his previous shot, stood in the way. When the bell rang, the British belt was vacant, sat glittering somewhere in St Andrew’s Sporting Club, Edinburgh. 73 seconds later, it belonged to Farooq.
The shot that brought the brutal end was a thing of beauty, a slipped jab created space for a booming right hand to land flush on Wilson’s chin. He bravely fought on, but the controlled barrage that followed was too much. It was even picked up by the BBC.
Looking no doubt to consolidate this win, and establish himself as a true champion, his first defence came this last November against fellow Scot Iain Butcher. Butcher should be billed as a former British and Commonwealth flyweight champion, but that is another story. Here he was tough and spirited, but ultimately outclassed by young Farooq. In a fight broadcast via Boxnation, Farooq showed he could still outbox a man to a points decision, and did so with a near whitewash.
So far then, the man they call ‘Untouchable’ has lived up to his nickname, but many believe he can go much further. Trainer Craig Dickson and his team obviously have faith in their fighter, with talks of a Commonwealth title clash versus another rising star, Lee McGregor, being touted for the new year. What a fight that would be for Scottish boxing.
A Lonsdale belt must also be a consideration, a worthy addition to any trophy cabinet, and perhaps the most beautiful belt in all sports.
In the meantime, though, give yourself a Christmas present and watch his fight with Wilson. After all, it’ll take just over a minute of your time.