Boxer’s driv­ing force

Loss of grand­par­ents mo­ti­vates Durie’s lad Shahz­man

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Murray Spooner

Bri­tish ti­tle chal­lenger spurred on by tragedy

A Ruther­glen boy whose grand­par­ents were killed in a bus crash in Saudi Ara­bia is hop­ing they will be look­ing down with pride this week­end as he fights for a Bri­tish ti­tle.

Shahz­man Parnez lost gran­par­ents Talat and Mo­hammed As­lam when a minibus they were trav­el­ling in crashed in Jan­uary as they com­pleted a pil­grim­age to Mecca and were re­turn­ing to Me­d­ina.

The 12-year-old Durie’s Box­ing Club fighter, the cur­rent Scot­tish Cham­pion, will take on the best 52kg fighter from ei­ther Wales or Eng­land in the GB Three Na­tions Cham­pi­onship tour­na­ment, be­gin­ning on Friday.

And when he even­tu­ally steps into the ring at Mother­well’s Raven­scraig Re­gional Sports Fa­cil­ity, his coach Archie Durie be­lieves the thoughts of his grand­par­ents will mo­ti­vate him.

Archie said: “Shahz­man will def­i­nitely be think­ing of them af­ter the tragedy in Jan­uary.

“They are al­ways in the back of his head when he’s fight­ing. He’s a very quiet boy and I think the train­ing has helped him, it keeps him fo­cussed.”

Mo­hammed, 72, and Talat, 62, left be­hind a large fam­ily and five adult chil­dren in­clud­ing daugh­ter Saba Parnez, who lives with her hus­band Zach and three chil­dren on Mill­rig Road. Shaz­man’s dad Zach says the tragedy changed his fam­ily’s lives for­ever, but he is ever so proud of his son who will get the chance to rep­re­sent his coun­try.

“He’ll do his grand­par­ents proud,” he said. “He is in great form, he’s ready.

“All the fam­ily have been given sup­port since the tragedy and we as par­ents are only try­ing to keep them busy with ac­tiv­i­ties and mo­ti­va­tion.

“He’s been do­ing more classes in the gym and it’s good he is keep­ing busy.”

Shahz­man, who will set out to de­fend his Hull Box Cup cham­pion sta­tus next week, won the Scot­tish Championships for a sec­ond suc­ces­sive year in Fe­bru­ary and also won the West­ern District com­pe­ti­tion ear­lier in the sea­son.

Now he hopes to em­u­late fel­low club mem­ber Vicky Glover’s ac­com­plish­ment af­ter she was crowned Bri­tish cham­pion in April.

Coach Archie said it would be a great honour to have two Bri­tish win­ners at the Cam­bus­lang Road club.

He added: “It would be some achieve­ment, a real honour, but I don’t want to speak too soon.

“The wee man has been dif­fer­ent class. He’s been work­ing re­ally hard in the gym for this fight.

“This is the biggest honour in ama­teur box­ing. If he wins, he could be fight­ing in dif­fer­ent coun­tries for big­ger ti­tles.”

Fam­ily spirit Shahz­man Parnez with his fam­ily af­ter win­ning the West­ern District ti­tle ear­lier in the box­ing cal­en­dar

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