Renfrewshire Boxing Club boss Colin Bellshaw believes Kash Farooq is the most hard-working puncher he’s ever worked with.
The 24-year-old made a winning return to the ring earlier this month, beating Angel Aviles at the SSE Arena in Wembley to take home the WBA Continental Bantamweight belt.
For the first time since Farooq turned professional with the Johnstone-based club, Bellshaw wasn’t able to be ringside as the powerful boxer put on a masterclass after a year out of action since a controversial loss to Lee McGregor.
Bellshaw was more nervous watching at home on television than he was being ringside, but paid tribute to Farooq’s professionalism to get the job done so emphatically on the night.
He told Express Sport : “It took him about a round and a half to get into his stride, which is understandable given the build-up to the fight.
“I actually tested positive for coronavirus in the build-up, which caused the last delay. That was before his original opponent pulled out, so it was two real upsets to his rhythm to deal with, having already spent so long out the ring.
“It’s nowhere near ideal preparation, but even though he’s only 24, with that much on his shoulders, he still stole the show.
“The pace and quality he kept up for the ten rounds was just incredible.
“That comes down to the amount of effort he puts in every week.
“He never takes a week off. Even if we tell him to, he just comes in and works away regardless.
“He’s totally dedicated to the sport and I’d say he’s the most dedicated boxer I’ve ever worked with.”
Having joined up at Renfrewshire Boxing Club in 2016, Farooq has worked with Bellshaw and his main trainer Craig Dickson to land the British Bantamweight Lonsdale belt and now the WBA Continental Bantamweight belt.
With just one loss to his name, that split decision loss to McGregor a year ago, Bellshaw is adamant that Farooq can go to the very top of the sport by the time he hits his peak.
Bellshaw said: “McGregor has a fight for the European title in January and, if he wins that, it could be a huge rematch opportunity for Kash and him.
“There’s honestly no limit for Kash.
“There are guys above him at this weight at the moment. We’re not stupid enough to think he’s at the top already, but they’re in their 30s.
“Kash still has years to go to reach his peak and, when he does, they’ll have all retired. There’s absolutely no reason why he can’t go on and fight for world titles.
“Especially now he’s with Matchroom.
“Eddie Hearn has already said the same, that he wants Kash fighting for world titles one day and, with Eddie’s promotion, there’s nothing holding him back.”
Despite punching his way towards the very top of his division, Bellshaw revealed that Kash is still very much a part of the Renfrewshire Boxing Club family.
Bellshaw added: “Kash was very quiet when he first signed, but he’s really come out of his shell now.
“Renfrewshire Boxing has become a home for him and he’s a really popular guy within the club.
“One of our younger boxers became unwell and Kash was ringing him straight away to try and give him a lift, which speaks volumes about his character.
“There’s no ego about him at all. He’s just a stand-up guy that loves boxing.
“We want to keep him active now after so long out, so hopefully he’ll be back in the ring by March.”