BOLTON - Rising star Haroon Khan got 2014 off to a great start after a dazzling points victory in his fourth professional bout.
The Bolton starlet had too much for his Yorkshire opponent, Francis Croes, on Friday night’s Sheffield bill, as he put on his best performance since turning professional last year.
From the get-go Khan dominated his 25-year-old foe, using his fast footwork and counter punching to offset his challenger’s come-forward style. As the fight progressed it was the super-flyweight Khan landing the more hurtful and telling blows pushing back the unrelenting Croes.
Croes proved to be a very game opponent but as the bout continued it was Khan who was becoming the aggressor in the fight as he wore down the Middlesbrough man, landing some beautiful combinations in the fourth and final round that stopped Croes in his tracks.
The 22-year-old’s hand speed was notable throughout the fight as he picked off the slower Croes the more the fight went on. In the end, though, it went to the scorecard with Khan winning a landslide victory 40-36.
It was a very mature display by Khan who showed the progress he continues to make under trainer Oliver Harrison, with the youngster delighted with his night’s work.
“It was a really good fight and I’m happy with how I did in there,” said Khan. “Croes was a tough opponent and he kept coming forward which forced me to use my boxing skills and counter him. The more the fight went on, though, I felt I was taking over and you could see that. It was my best performance since turning professional and I think that’s just a reflection of the work I’ve been doing with Oliver Harrison because I’ve been learning so much,” he said.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medalist is happy to get the year off to such an emphatic start and is out to make it one to remember.
“This is going to be a big year for me. I want to get my head down, keep learning in the gym and get as many fights under my belt as possible. The last year I’ve picked up so much since turning professional and I want to keep that up,” said Khan.
“I’m going to be very active in 2014 and I have no doubts that it’s going to be a great year for me because I’m eager to learn and improve and I know I have the right trainer and team around me to do that,” he said.
Trainer Oliver Harrison was also pleased with how his young prospect performed.
“Haroon did very well in there,” said Harrison. “I scored him an 8 out of 10 which is very good in my book because I don’t usually give such high ratings. I definitely think it was his best performance since he turned pro and I’m very happy with the progress he keeps on making in the gym. If he keeps learning he can go very far in the sport,” he said.
Khan is aiming to be out again soon with an announcement to be made in due course.