Commonwealth Games silver medallist Qais Ashfaq admits he is still reaping the benefits of his Glasgow 2014 experience after tasting victory on his World Series of Boxing debut at York Hall on Thursday night.
The 21-year-old bantamweight earned a split decision over Diao Jianhao during the British Lionhearts opening fixture of the season over the Chinese Dragons.
Fellow Team England Commonwealth medallists Anthony Fowler and Sam Maxwell also won on the night to earn the Lionhearts a 3-2 victory.
And Ashfaq admitted afterwards how he felt his success at the Commonwealth Games helped him to victory.
“The Commonwealth’s brought me on leaps and bounds, they really helped with my confidence,” he said.
“I’m a lot more confident now, I come forward more. Before, I used to be a lot more negative and like I say, the experience brought me on.
“Winning the silver medal obviously helped my confidence massively as well.”
WSB bouts are fought over five three-minute rounds without headguards or vests, making them more akin to professional bouts than amateur.
Ashfaq, however, is not fazed by the change in format, nor the difference in opponent.
“It’s more rounds, I’m only young, only 21, so I’m still getting my physical strength. The boxers here are tough and rugged but my boxing ability gets me through and as I get stronger and stronger I’ll only get better,” he added.
“The five rounds, they were OK because I’m fit anyway. I’m getting better every fight, I’m developing.
“My opponent was a tough kid, he was bringing his head in, slapping me a lot and trying to bully me a bit.
“He’s a bit older than me so he had a bit more strength, but I’m learning all the time. It’s my first five rounds, my first WSB fight, so it was good to get the win.”
© Sportsbeat 2015