Next Saturday sees Made4TheCage return for its first event of 2013 in the form of Made4TheCage 9: Night of Champions. The night is full of title fights and one of them is for the vacant British flyweight title. One half of that particular contest, Shamsul Haque, popped into The Fight Lounge for a chat before going into battle.

Having fought on the promotion in the past, Haque knows all about the show however we wondered how it felt to be one of the big fights on the promotion’s biggest card to date.

“Made4TheCage is a great show so I’m buzzing to be fighting on it and to be fighting for the flyweight belt makes it that much sweeter!”

Standing at the other side of the cage to him will be Niko Gjoka, who we interviewed last week. A lot of fighters research their opponents a lot so we asked Shamsul just what he knew of his opponent.

“I know Niko is short with dark hair, has blue eyes and is a bit stumpy. He’s a cage fighter so he probably has bad manners and a short temper.”

Fighters train really hard for fights and sometimes train specific things for an opponent. We asked Shamsul if he had done any of this and he provided quite an interesting response.

“My training is going really well. Everything is going to plan I’m injury free and stronger than ever. Normally I train for hours at a time in the gym and do outdoor training as well but for this fight I’ve changed my approach.  I’ve trained approximately 20-25mins a week for this fight and that’s it. I know some may say that isn’t enough which may be the case but my theory is that the less I train the more energy I will have left for the fight.”

As this fight is not long after the festive period, a time in which a lot of gyms close for 2-3 weeks and fighters indulge themselves in a lot of food, we wondered if this had affected Haque’s weight coming into this fight camp.

“Weight hasn’t been an issue for me at all. Granted I had been eating rubbish over Christmas and New Year but I’ve kept up the training by bringing dwarfs and elves in to spar and as a result the weight came off.”

As is the standard for any pre-fight interview, we asked Shamsul firstly if he had a message for his opponent and secondly what his prediction is for the fight.

“Well I would like to ask Niko to take it easy on me in the fight because I am quite brittle. I don’t like to predict fights but seems as though you asked I’d say I am going to win because Niko is a nice guy and is going to let me win!”

Quite a bold prediction! Should his prediction come true and he does leave with the victory, what would he like to see come from the rest of 2013?

“After I beat Niko on 16th February I plan to fight abroad this year and depending on my luck I might end up fighting Mighty Mouse!”

Before we let Shamsul go and continue with his training, we gave him the chance to thank everyone and anyone he liked.

“I’d like to thank fighting fit for helping me prep even though I haven’t done much and I’d like to thank my coach Fiz for letting me train as little as I have.”

To see Shamsul in action be sure to get down to Made4TheCage 9: Night of Champions which takes place 16th February from the Rainton Meadows Arena in Houghton-le-Spring.

For more on Made4TheCage be sure to check out The Fight Lounge for all the latest news as it happens.

By Nathan Court (@nathancourt)

Deputy Editor and 3-2-0 Professional Fighter sponsored by

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