Wembley prospect Khoumari relishing return to ring as Whyte lends support in gym

Youssef Khoumari with Dillian Whyte at the IQ Boxing Gym in Neasden (pic Youssef Khoumari)

Youssef Khoumari with Dillian Whyte at the IQ Boxing Gym in Neasden (pic Youssef Khoumari) - Credit: Archant

Wembley super-featherweight prospect Youssef Khoumari says he is ready to jump back into the ring with boxing set to resume in this country this month.

It was announced last week that Islington-born promoter Frank Warren will stage the first UK professional bill on July 10, headlined by Brad Foster’s British and Commonwealth super-bantamweight title fight with James Branch.

The bout will take place at BT Sport Studios in Stratford, after the sport came to an abrupt halt three months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And Khoumari, 24, has his focus set on an English title rematch with Liam Dillon after their clash in November at York Hall, Bethnal Green was called by many ringside observers as one of the small hall fights of 2019.

Khoumari, who has 11 wins and a draw in 12 fights, hopes promoter Steve Goodwin will be able to fix a second bash with his stablemate later in the year – preferably on a marque bill.

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“The rematch is definitely something I want,” he said.

“I was reluctant when the immediate rematch was proposed as I believe the fight deserves to be on a better platform.

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“The first fight was called small hall fight of the year by some, so I feel if we do get it on again it deserves a bigger platform and audience.”

One fellow professional who is now helping to push Khoumari to the next level is WBC world interim heavyweight champion Dillian Whyte.

The pair recently teamed up at IQ Boxing Gym in Neasden, where 32-year-old Whyte also trains, and Khoumari, after taking expert advice from trainer Xavier Miller, is already benefiting from the man he regards as the number one heavyweight boxer in the world.

“The link up with Dillian come about when my coach Xavier became part of his team,” he said.

“I started seeing him around the gym a lot and we just clicked. Dillian is as real as it gets and I was just honoured to be able to be around who I feel is the number one heavyweight in the world.

“He’s always willing to help and give tips here and there to help the up-and-coming guys improve. Once Xavier said I was able to come out and join the camp I just jumped at the chance.”

Khoumari, of Philippine parentage and a former student at Wembley High Technology College, has not fought since stopping Nicaragua’s Michael Issac Carrero in Dunstable in March but is not really bothered where he fights when he returns.

“When boxing comes back if it has to be behind closed doors I’ll be up for it,” he added. “End of the day a ring is a ring whether it’s at York Hall, The 02 or even a supermarket car park.”

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