Asian boxing sensation star Zahid Hussain aka ‘The Magic Man’ suffered a heart breaking defeat in this year’s Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) National Championships losing to Reading’s Home Counties reigning champion, Rocky Wadhams, over four rounds.
Everything looked bright for the self proclaimed ‘Magic Man’ for the first two rounds.
Hussain was winning both rounds comfortably with the aid of his quick feet, feigned moves and fast precise punching with a touch of the evasive American Pauli Malanaggi style, which is so slick, and frustrates so many fighters, keeping Rocky at a distance.
Everything seemed to be going so smooth, even head coach/trainer and brother Wahid Hussain looked on course for a double national title winning victory as his other charge and stable mate, Reece Cartwright, had won the national ABA title at 75 kilo’s in the middle weight division earlier that day.
However, disaster hit as Zahid’s right hand was injured during the fight making it affectively useless for the rest of the contest leaving him at a complete disadvantage.
Zahid said later: “I could not believe it, but to be fair I did take a gamble on this as I believed I damaged the right hand in the semi-final against the kid I met, and incidentally beat in the semi final last year, Leon Stockwood of Leicester City.
“I thought a week of light punching and training would be enough rest for it to recover. But I knew something was wrong. The day of the final in the changing room when I was warming up on the pads my coach said ‘you should save your hand for another day and pull out’, but I said no.
“It had been so hard to get there and then there were the fans and people I brought down to see me who bought tickets. My mind set was Y.O.L.O (you only live once).
“It’s the Grand National Final, the reason for me being here speaks for it’s self. I am good enough and I am going for it. So I did and nearly pulled it off.
“I beat him with one hand for two rounds but come the third I hit this southpaw boxer with a perfect right hand, POW!!! But when I connected I went ‘ouch’!!!
“The pain was so intense I knew the hand had gone and I knew I could no longer use it in this fight. I knew at this level of competition that’s suicide, and I sensed he knew that too.
“The fight then became messy over the next two rounds and boy did he close that distance between us down fast. My chance had clearly gone.
“I still think the fight could have gone either way but fair play to him. He is champion now but I am not making any excuses. Had my right hand been ok, combined with my inactivity of being out of the ring as I waited a year for the championship didn’t help, I believe I would have beaten him.
“But as I said, I wish Rocky all the best and I hope we can meet again in the future.”
It has certainly been quite an eventful year for the Magic Man Hussain, particularly after last year’s disappointment in being controversially pulled out of the championship final by Sharkey’s Amateur Boxing Academy in Leeds.
Through a malicious, ignorant and selfish act, Zahid ‘The Magic Man’ Hussain, reining Yorkshire ABA Champion and National ABA 60kg 2012/2013 novice finalist, was denied his title chance.
Even though he had won and beaten all the competition leading up to the 60kg national semi-final his most spectacular win was the semi-final contest in which he defeated the tournament favourite, the hard punching Leon Stockwood by a lopsided unanimous decision.
Sharkey’s Amateur Boxing Academy in Leeds, who Hussain represented at the time, withdrew him from the tournament’s final a few days before after a disagreement with a Hussain family member in which Zahid was punished for no reason of his own but out of sheer spite and the politics of amateur boxing.
Sadly this forced him to leave Leeds and the Yorkshire area to relocate over the Pennines and to compete for Northside ABC Manchester; a move which I think is quite sad. He went on to represent and win the North Western Counties championship and it was this, which put him through to the National Finals for the second year in a row.
And so ends this chapter for the talented boxer Zahid Hussain.
We can only wait and look forward in anticipation to see what happens next with the one they call ‘The Magic Man’.