British-Afghan boxer Sohail feeling at 'home' away from 'home'
British-Afghan boxer Sohail Ahmad has an impressive professional record. (Photo by Neeraj Murali)
Dubai - Sohail is making full use of the world class facilities in Dubai
By James Jose
Published: Fri 17 Jul 2020, 11:12 PM
Last updated: Mon 20 Jul 2020, 8:05 PM
Having witnessed a long-drawn conflict first hand while growing up, the sweltering UAE weather is the least of Sohail Ahmad's concern. In fact, Dubai's bright sunshine and the humidity is maybe close to heaven after being in rainy and soggy London. Perhaps, the British-Afghan boxer, who has travelled a really long and winding road, could call the UAE and Dubai a 'home' away from 'home.' With the world in a virtual lockdown, Sohail left a cold Heathrow to the sunnier climes of Dubai to continue his boxing journey, a path which he hopes will culminate in conquering the world. And to that end, the 32-year-old feels a roadmap traversing Jalalabad, Old Blighty and Dubai will realise that dream. A world title fight beckons probably at the back end of next year, and the effervescent yet grounded Sohail is making sure every brick is in the wall. With gyms still shut in the UK because of this terrible pandemic and no chance of undergoing full training, Sohail had no second thoughts about his next boarding pass. Nicely nestled along the Pearl Jumeirah overlooking the pristine Arabian Sea, Sohail is making full use of the world class facilities to be in prime shape for battles ahead. And the 'Showstar' is grateful and hopes to pay back by representing his roots - Afghanistan, his next stage - London and the city of dreams - Dubai. "It's really great to be here even though it is not very pleasant weather. Coming from the UK, the wet, rainy London, I think I enjoy this more than the wet London. It is great to be here, lovely place, lovely people, very welcoming people. Love it every time I come here, it is a home away from home," Sohail said in an exclusive interview with the Khaleej Times. "Yesterday, I had a sparring session at Round 10 Boxing Club. I went there yesterday and I'm going there again tomorrow. It's a great gym, good bunch of people," he added. Seriously though, Sohail is perhaps contemplating juggling between London and Dubai. "I would love to train out of here and fight out of Dubai. Dubai is amazing. Obviously, UK is the place where I train, learnt boxing, everything. But I wouldn't mind having the UK and Dubai as my homes and where I could train and fight," revealed Sohail, who has won 14 professional fights. "UAE is a great country. It is amazing what they have done over the last few years in terms of economy, in terms of infrastructure, in terms of the development of sport, specially boxing and football. I would love to represent and fight out of Dubai on the professional boxing scene and represent them and go and fight in America and Europe and fight for major titles. It all depends on the opportunity. "It is not just about boxing. You don't have to be a fighter, you don't have to look at boxing and be a fighter, you can look at boxing and look at staying sort of principled in other aspects in life, dedication, commitment, discipline, hard work, being focussed. If I can do that in Dubai, if I can inspire the younger generation, and if they look at my story and where I've come from and got to where I am, I would love to be here," Sohail explained. firstname.lastname@example.org