Qasim Niaz said he was excited to have picked-up his first belt after an gruelling eight round win in Preston.

Welterweight Qasim never looked in trouble to overcome Russian Arvydas Trinzo and make it 10 in a row.

Buoyed on by a huge following he powered his way to the International Challenge title at the Guild Hall.

He said: “It has been overwhelming and winning was amazing.

“It was the best way to start 2017.

“The next plan is to fight one more time before Ramadan starts.

“The support has been really good. It was amazing to see so many people from across the North West.

“By the end of 2017 I am hoping to fight for the national title.

“I made my comeback in October and five months later I have my first belt.

“I got the rounds in and it proves I am long distance fighter.

“I hit him with everything. I maybe I could have thrown some more body shots.

“He was one tough guy. He had a good defence and I really had to work hard.”

Coach Kevin Maree said he was pleased with the performance.

He said:“We have gone through a lot we have had a bad injury. I wanted for him to show me something different tonight.

“I wanted him to show me that he could box with discipline. We are stepping up levels now and you have to box to a game plan.”

Qasim added: “A big thank you to AMT Lawyers, Sheths Bathrooms and SDP Media and most of all the fans and friends who helped to make this a night to remember.”