Boxer Izzadeen Malik El-Amin: Champ in and outside the ring
Standing at 6ft 1 he fights in the Welterweight division, and has won his last four fights by first round knockouts – now he's looking to carry on his KO streak and is working on getting back in the ring, this time in UK.
This 23-year-old from Luton, has sacrificed everything to pursue his dreams. After being excluded from high school at the age of 15, Izzadeen was unfazed. He had already made up his mind what he wanted to do – and so he focused on his goal and wanting to make a difference in the world for the better.
He spoke to the Bucks Herald about his life and his ambitions.
“For me it's much bigger than winning a world title,” he says, of the life and career he has chosen. “A belt is just a belt, but it’s more than that for me. I will be the voice for the voiceless. I'm just following the right guidance. Having God and the right people around you that support you and see what you see; that's all you need.
“You will have up and downs, it's part of the journey, it’s like life - got to get through it. I stuck with it, since I was a kid, I was misunderstood, I guess it’s part of it.
“The work continues, I hope I help people along the way, especially the next generation of kids. There's a lot of pressure of course but I'm ready and prepared for what comes ahead, Allah (God) is the best of planners, I'm just following the plan.”
A champion outside the ring
“I'd rather be a champion outside the ring,” says Izzadeen. “Boxing is part of my life, but it’s not who I am. Kids need an outlet to put their energy into, let out their anger and frustration. It’s needed especially in the times we live in.”
“Many kids are growing up in single-parent homes, just like me, so I know what it's like, I was brought up by just my mother. I was out of control at one point, having a lot of built-up anger which isn't healthy, as many young kids have due to trauma growing up.
“Me having boxing and Islam showed me the right way, It's kept me away from everything.”
Izzadeen said young people growing up now are tempted to thinking they are cool taking up drinking, smoking or acting immorally.
“They need to put their energy into something positive. Their life will change before their eyes,” says Izzadeen
He says it was a route he could have easily taken – statistically the odds were stacked against him.
“But God's guidance and me doing what's best for me, was the difference, I believe the music that they listen to, the people they look up to - the celebrities - aren't a good example for them to follow. It’s leading them down the path they are heading to and it isn't the right one. We need good role models.”
Izzadeen says being a boxer means being disciplined and determined.
“As fighters it isn't easy, their lives revolve around boxing. You can't be a part-time fighter, you won't get far otherwise.
“Discipline is key. People just see the fight but don't see the preparation or hard work behind the scenes that fighters have to go through, just to get ready for war. We are away from the famillies and loved ones when preparing for a fight, clear-minded, focused on one opponent for weeks out until the fight.”
“People like Izzadeen should be appreciated for what he does,” Said Dr Timey, a friend and mentor, who lives in Aylesbury and owns the Podcast show D’Puff Puff. “Yet you wouldn't even know he was a fighter.”
"Izzadeen last 4 Knockouts in the first round shows his power for a slim guy who's 6ft 1 – he knows how to punch.
“I've always said he punches hard for someone that's his size and weight he will be a problem in his weight class, the world will see. I had felt his power he didn't believe me until he his last few Kos. It’s starting to show what I have seen for the last few years, he's always been focused and confident in his skills the people are starting to see now,” he added.
“The next time you hear of Izzadeen he will have fought in the ring, Gonna keep this train going. He seems like a nice guy outside the ring but inside the ring whoever he faces next will be in trouble because he is not just bringing punches he is bringing his pain in to the ring. Remember the name the peoples champ Izzadeen Malik El-Amin!”