I began following boxing in late 80s early 90s when seeing a boxer of South Asian origin was a very rare sight.

The biggest names in the sport were black. Their origins lay in Africa or the Caribbean. However, in the mid-90s, a featherweight by the name of Naseem Hamed burst on to the scene.

The self-styled “Prince” was born in Yorkshire but his roots could be traced to Yemen. He was a phenomenon who inspired amongst others, those from communities who had little connection with boxing. Nottingham’s Jawaid Khaliq, was one of many South Asians, who trained alongside the former world champion at the legendary Ingle Gym in Sheffield.

Hamed unofficially retired in 2002, leaving British boxing in need of another fighter who could transcend the sport. It came in the shape of Amir Khan, who was born in Bolton to Pakistani parents. At the 2004 Olympics he won a silver medal and as a professional went on to become a two-time world champion, earning millions of pounds in the process. His name was emblazoned on bright lights in venues such as Madison Square Garden in New York to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The 35-year-old hung up his gloves in May. One of his legacies has been inspiring South Asian involvement in all aspects of British boxing.

Several of the country’s leading prospects are of Asian descent and are aligned to major promotional companies.

Hamzah Sheeraz is unbeaten in 16 fights. Earlier this year he was awarded the British Young Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers’ Club. According to his promoter Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions, the 23-year-old will be a “future star”.

Other Asian boxers highlighted on the Queensberry website include Masood Abdulah, Umar Khan and Muhammad Ali.

Siblings Adam and Hassan Azim are signed up with Boxxer, who have a broadcast deal with Sky Sports. Trainer Shane McGuigan and Sky Sports’ Head of Boxing Adam Smith are predicting a bright future for the pair.

Boxxer also have Dylan Cheema on their books.

After securing the 26-year-old’s signature, they released a media statement which read “fans are joining his existing battalion, one which features a huge number of his fellow Sikhs. Drawing his ancestry from Punjab - a region of India with a long and storied warrior tradition - Cheema’s pride in his heritage is reflected in the strength of support he draws from the wider community across the UK”.

Meanwhile Stoke’s Shabaz Masoud is with Probellum. The same company also signed decorated amateur, Ali Tazeem, who they tipped to be the next Amir Khan. Tragically the youngster died after being in involved in a traffic car accident in April.

At Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom, Kash Farooq, the former British bantamweight champion, was on the verge of world title contention. However, the Pakistan-born boxer had to retire at the age of 26 due to medical concerns. He is now assisting in the coaching of young amateurs.

Oldham’s Aqib Fiaz remains with Matchroom. It’s not just Asian males who are making their mark in the noble art. The Asian Image has highlighted the story of Safiyyah Syeed, the “Hijabi Boxer”, who aims to “smash stereotypes” about Muslim women. Asian participation isn’t just restricted to what happens inside the ring. Earlier this year Boxing News magazine reported that Izzy Asif had become the first British-Pakistani to promote a boxing tournament, which took place in South Yorkshire.

Former heavyweight Raz Parnez is also a licensed promoter with the British Boxing Board of Control. Legend has it that Parnez once sparred with Mike Tyson in preparation for the former world heavyweight champion’s clash with Lou Savarese in 2000.

There are also several Asians acting as trainers in both amateur and professional codes. These include the likes of Asgar Tair and Huzaifah Iqbal. A video of the former went viral after he recited the Quran in Tyson Fury’s changing room ahead of his first contest against Deontay Wilder. The latter is easily recognisable with his long beard. So why are South Asians, in particular British Pakistanis, taking up the sport in high numbers?

Firstly, there is the socio-economic status of Pakistanis in the UK. Boxing largely attracts those from disadvantaged, working class backgrounds.

Moreover crucially, unlike their grandparents and parents, subsequent generations, don’t have the responsibility to provide for family “back home”. This allows them to invest their time and finances into the sporting aspirations of their children.

Asian business owners are also seeing the benefits of sponsoring a local up-and-coming prospect. Such a link-up doesn’t just reflect well on their own business but has a wider ripple on effect. The boxer in question becomes a role model for other youngsters. Their success becomes a positive news story and gives the community a sense of pride. Such a development is much needed especially when you consider that much of the coverage of Pakistani men in the last decade has categorized them as either terrorists or groomers.

Promoters are also waking up to the ‘brown pound’.

When speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Ben Shalom, founder and CEO of Boxxer, stated that Asians were some of the most passionate fans of boxing in the country. Given their ability to put bums on seats, Asian boxers are being given increased opportunity to showcase their talents.

In June Ijaz Ahmed took on Quaise Khademi for the British super-flyweight title. Birmingham-born Ahmed is of Pakistani origin, whilst “Kaisy” resides in London but whose place of birth was Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan. Two South Asians competing for a British title is both historic and highly symbolic. It illustrates the ever-increasing role that Asians are playing in British boxing and are likely to do so in the future.