August, 1998. Osama Bin Laden was placed on the FBI most wanted list, and a reward of $5 million was offered for his capture. In the same year a four year old boy and his family had to flee Afghanistan. That was just the first fight Quaise Khademi had to endure in his life.

“I was born in Afghanistan, I was about four years old when my family had to leave Afghanistan, as it wasn’t safe for us to live there anymore. We was in Pakistan for a year, living in fear and finding our next way to leave Pakistan as people were after us.”

Living your life everyday in constant fear of dying, everyday in a new surrounding trying to find food for your starving family eventually a young ‘Kaisy’ and his family made it out of the clutches of the country gripped by the savages of the Taliban.

“We left Pakistan and we had the longest journey to get to (The) United Kingdom. We had to cross so many boarders on foot, train or car just to get to here, our journey took about two years.”

Arriving in the UK at the age of seven in the hope of a better life after a torrid three years of escape, the Khademi family made a new life for themselves in East Ham, London.

Growing into his teenage years, the young Afghan found himself getting in to trouble with the law and would regularly brawl on the streets of London. That was until boxing saved him.

“I started boxing when I was about 15, I was always a fan of Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. They are the most known boxers in my country. I used to fight a lot on (the) street and get myself in trouble until I watched Manny ‘Pac-man’ (Pacquiao) and Floyd (Mayweather) putting (a) great show on and that’s when I was motivated to join a boxing club.”

The disciplines of pugilism have kept Khademi alive, reminded daily of what could’ve been for him are his friends who have spent their fair share of days inside a cell.

“Boxing was something that kept me away from troubles and bad influences, I have seen my childhood friend in prison that was so close to me, even friends from teenage times because they wasn’t motivated by anything else except drugs and gangs, they all spend about two-three years in prison.”

The hunger that’s shown by the Khademi family is ingrained in ‘Kaisy’s’ mindset.

“My dream and ambition is to be a World champion, and to be the first Afghan World champion.”

Not only is Khademi seeking to be a World champion but he tells he wants to be an influence on others in this situation suffered by his family.

“I believe this will motivate so many people in my country and many people that are in (the) same situation that I used to be in. An asylum seeker in a country full of opportunity.”

The brawler almost plays down the extreme curve-balls life had thrown at him and his loved ones. After enduring such a lifestyle, a twelve-week training camp don’t seem too bad.

“I had my ups and downs and the only thing that kept me going was me believing in myself, having faith and putting that hard work in.”

Winning both of his first two bouts as a professional boxer, Quasie is rapidly gaining a growing fan-base and his stock will rise over the coming years. Quasie will next be inside the squared circle, February 10th at the mecca of British boxing, York Hall.

The escape to victory.

Written by James Lupton.


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