Champion fighter Anas wants to start boxing gym
A talented boxer who wants to fight for Scotland in the 2018 Commonwealth Games says he would like to open a boxing gym in the isles.
Anas Nfaou came to Shetland as a teenage stowaway five years ago.
He had planned to leave his native home of Morocco for Spain. But the boat landed in Lithuania and after meeting with police there he was told to continue on the boat to arrive in Shetland.
Anas was 15 when he stepped foot on Shetland shores in 2010 without a passport and was provided with social care.
He met his wife Christie in the isles and the couple moved to Clackmannan last year. They have an 11-month old daughter Sienna.
Anas said he has only been boxing for about a year but out of 15 fights he has won 11 and has been crowned the Scottish Universities middleweight champion.
In Shetland he had taken part in some boxing at the Staney Hill hall and was also involved with the athletics club running in the 800 and 400 metres.
Anas, also ran into trouble appearing at Lerwick Sheriff Court on assault charges in 2013 and in the same year being ordered to carry out unpaid work after stealing goods from Grantfield Garage. The court heard how he had no right to stay in the UK.
But Anas is turning his life around has been busy putting in the hard graft at the gym south three times a week as well as doing running and weight work to keep himself fighting fit.
When he is not training he is doing gym qualifications and says he would like to open a boxing gym in Shetland in future.
Anas admits that he has missed out on competing at the Olympic Games in Rio next year but still has an eye on the Commonwealth Games in three years’ time.
His Scottish Universities title is a strong platform to build on and the Alloa Boxing Club member is looking to take another Scottish middleweight title in Motherwell in January.
The 21-year-old lived on the streets in Casablanca from the age of nine and had to fight to survive. “It was a really hard life,” he said.
In his 15 fights he has fought opponents who have been taller and with more experience, but this is the start, he said and it is a boost to his confidence to defeat those with more years under their belt.
Boxing has helped channel his anger as well as providing discipline and focus. Anas agrees a club in Shetland could help others too.
Walking into the ring is a special experience, he said: “It’s amazing especially if there’s a lot of people screaming your name. It’s really good. I can’t really explain it.”