Keighley boxing prodigy’s hopes are shattered by brain injury

Danish Muhammad had a leaking blood vessel in his brain

Danish Muhammad had a leaking blood vessel in his brain

First published in District Sport

A talented boxer from Keighley tipped as a future champion may never fight again after suffering a life-threatening brain injury.

Fourteen-year-old Danish Muhammad (pictured) trained regularly at Bury ABC Gym before the injury dashed his hopes of a career in the ring.

His team-mates, family and friends have rallied round the youngster and expressed their relief that he is home from hospital.

Danish’s father, Shahid Saleem, said: “Boxing isn’t important when something as serious as this happens and we’re all relieved that it wasn’t more serious.”

Inspired by the boxing success of his older brother, Muhammad Ali, Danish began training at Bury ABC at the age of seven and had his first bout aged 11.

Danish, who has a record of 24 wins in 25 fights, is a national schoolboy champion and was selected to fight in the European Schoolboy Championships in Anapa, in western Russia, on October 5.

But the South Craven School pupil fell ill a few days before his big trip.

He was taken to hospital and doctors discovered a leaking blood vessel in his brain.

Tests revealed the condition is not linked to boxing and is more likely to run in the family.

Danish is now recovering at home and hopes to return to school early next month.

Among those to have sent messages of support are boxers from the British London 2012 Olympics team.

His trainer, Mick Jelley, who has also trained Olympic silver medallist Amir Khan, said: “It’s an absolute tragedy for the lad.

“He was the best young fighter I’ve seen for a long time and I’m certain that he could have gone on to become a world champion.

“I’ve never trained anyone more dedicated than him at his age.”

Mr Saleem said: “Danish was gutted not to be going to Russia but his health is more of a priority.

“I still think it’s possible he could become a coach at the gym or take on another role that will keep him involved with the sport he loves, but we’ll have to see what happens.”

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