Cheema wins Yorkshire Novice title

Saif Cheema with coach MArtin Bateson
Saif Cheema with coach MArtin Bateson
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Saif Cheema, boxing out of Dewsbury’s KBW Gym, has been crowned Yorkshire champion at the Under 20 bouts novice ABA’s.

Cheema was due to fight for the Yorkshire title last Sunday but his opponent pulled out, handing the KBW man the title by default.

Cheema is becoming an avoided boxer in the light welterweight division but will now represent Yorkshire against the Midlands area champion as he bids to take another step towards winning the national title.

Cheema is a student of renowned coach Martin Bateson, who has been involved in the success of many professional and amateur boxers, including Great Britain squad hopefuls.

Since Bateson became Cheema’s coach, he has changed the youngster’s style and has become a lot slicker with some tipping him to make the step up from a novice amateur boxer.

Cheema said: “I owe a lot to my coach Martin Bateson for bringing me this far and my family and team KBW for supporting and helping me.

“I’m looking to train hard and turn pro in the coming years and I couldn’t ask for a better coach or a better team to help me”

Cheema’s Yorkshire title comes hot on the heels of the success of another KBW boxer Ashley Vanzie.

The 25-year-old defeated the Ireland Olympic boxing captain on his way to winning a gold medal at the Celtic Box Cup last month.

Vanzie defeated Ireland star Darren O’Neill and then overcame Dean Laing to be crowned champion in the 81kg category.

As well as winning gold, 25-year-old Leeds Met University student Vanzie was also named boxer of the tournament.

Vanzie has now set his sights on winning the Senior ABA’s and forcing his way into the Great Britain squad for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

n KBW welcome people of all ages to train at the gym, who have support packages to help assist children from low earning families.

They are encouraging local youths to take part in the scheme and benefit from the facilities and Bateson’s coaching.