YOUNG Bolton boxer Osman Aslam came through his first six-round fight in flying colours to extend his winning run last weekend.
The 22-year-old super bantamweight stretched his unbeaten professional record to seven wins with a points decision against Brett Fidoe at Lancashire County Cricket Club's Emirates Old Trafford.
And the Halliwell youngster, who is managed by Asif Vali – who also looks after heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury – and trained by respected Bolton coach Alex Matvienko from Elite Boxing gym, revealed after the victory he had been suffering with a fever in the run-up to the contest.
However he showed no signs of illness as he overcame 25-year-old Fidoe with good use of his left-hand jab on the night.
Aslam told The Bolton News: "I felt really comfortable in there.
"I started the fight the way I wanted to and controlled the pace of the fight the whole way through.
"I knew it was my first six-round fight so the pace was really important and I'm happy that was controlled by me and not by my opponent.
"I had a fever the whole week before the fight and I recovered one or two days before but it's one of those things you just have to accept and move on.
"It wasn't a perfect training camp but it's how you adapt to the occasion.
"Also, without my head coach in my corner it was a mental challenge I had to overcome.
"So I had to make sure there was no room for error.
"I'm a fast-paced fighter, that's the way I like it, but knowing my coach was not there I slowed the pace of the fight down just to stick to the game plan.
"Brett is known for causing upsets for prospects.
"I've heard he's knocked out someone who was 10-0, so that tells you something.
"My jab was the main punch of the night – I think I only threw my right hand two or three times.
"Brett told me after the fight that while he had been in with European champions, I was the quickest he had faced so that was a huge compliment for me."
Aslam is expecting to be back in the ring next month but admits he will enjoy a brief rest first.
He added: "I was given a date straight after my fight which was in November but that's up to my management.
"For now I've got a week off and my body really needs the rest now.
"I'd like to thank my team, my manager Asif Vali, who does so much for me, and head coach Alex Matvienko who are so good at what they do.
"We have a solid team which I am very thankful for including strength coach Tom McNeil and everyone at Elite gym who helped me prepare.
"I also want to thank my sponsors, Imran Akram from Asons Solicitors, Applied Nutrition and Zak Vali Foundation."