After becoming the latest Team GB boxer to join the Matchroom Boxing stable, we asked Qais Ashfaq to reveal more about life inside and outside the ring.
The 24-year-old super-bantamweight makes his professional debut on February 25, live on Sky Sports, so tells us more about himself…
Are you excited about making your debut in Manchester?
Definitely, I want to bring something different to the rest of the Olympians and surprise people. I’ve been working hard and am ready to put on a show.
So how did you first get into the sport?
I started boxing when I was eight years old. My cousin used to box and his dad got me into it, I fell in love straight away. For three or four years I didn’t miss a session.
Your boxing idols?
My favourite boxer ever is Muhammad Ali for obvious reasons, I guess everyone says that.
Sugar Ray Leonard has also always been an idol and hero for me. I love his style and how humble he was, he’s exactly how I’d like to be.
Have your Team GB team-mates given you advice?
I’m good mates with all the boys, but it was Lawrence Okolie who helped me make this decision.
He said to me “join Matchroom, look at what all the Olympians are doing there, we all know how good you are, get on this team and you will make big waves”.
Surprised with the impact they’ve all made?
Okolie has, on paper, done the best, but he is still a novice. Before the Olympics he had only had 20/30 fights so I always remind him of that. He’s got a long way to go but is already smashing it.
Buatsi has the perfect style for the pros, he’s strong, and good in close. Skill-wise, Cordina has it all. I suppose Buatsi and Fowler are similar power-wise, while Kelly and Cordina have the skill.
Favourite TV show?
I love Power and am looking forward to that coming back on.
When I wake up I love to watch Frasier, that’s a classic, and in between sessions at the gym, I’m partial to a bit of The Chase.
One has to be ‘Scarface’, I love all those kinds of gangster films.
Another would be Menace II Society, it’s quite an old film but is a great watch, I could watch that over and over again.
A favourite cheat meal?
To be honest, nothing beats mum’s cooking, that’s what I miss most when I’m dieting – she makes an amazing curry.
Finally Qais, something interesting no-one knows about you?
It’s a bit of a weird one but I was born six weeks premature, if that’s of interest to anyone.
My mum always tells me I was about the size of her hand!