Updated: Jul 23
Fighting in Queensbury Promotion’s 2nd behind closed doors show, Ramez ‘The Mathmagiciain’ Mahmood takes part in his biggest challenge yet, a move down in weight against the undefeated & accomplished amateur Chris Bourke.
Fighting for the Southern Area Super Bantanweight Title, recently vacated by stablemate Ryan Walker, Ramez intends to ‘upset the applecart’ in his 1st televised fight via BT Sport.
Having interviewed Ramez pretty consistently over the last two years, I can honestly say he’s the same humble, modest person and is as willing as ever to give up his spare time to ESBR.
‘The longer lockdown went on, we thought it was pretty realistic for me to not be fighting until crowds were allowed back into shows whenever that may be. However, it was always in the back of my mind that something could come up so I just had to keep going regardless of how intense the lockdown got or how far away a fight date looked.’
As you’re probably able to tell by the quirky nickname, Ramez is a full-time maths teacher, and like many other boxers has had to consistently juggle both professions at once. Being a key worker, I was intrigued to hear about how ‘The Mathmagiciain’ had overcome this equation.
‘To be truthful, it’s been less of an issue managing the two jobs whilst being in lockdown. I’ve been able to dedicate less of my time to the day job compared to prior to the lockdown which has obviously had its benefits. I’ve still had to go into school occasionally but it hasn’t hindered my preparation for the fight badly if I’m honest.’
Moving onto the fight itself, Ramez was respectful as ever ahead of the 25th of July when discussing his opponent without downgrading his own credentials.
‘I’ve been aware of Chris since the amateur days. We’re pretty much identical in age and he had an impressive amateur career. Due to the fact that he’s a Frank Warren fighter and he can punch I imagine he’ll be the slight favourite in some people’s minds but I’m here to upset the applecart.’
When comparing the two young fighters, an easy place to start could be the difference in knockout percentages. Comparing Bourke’s 71% KO percentage to Mahmood’s 18% may be seen as an easy way for some to predict the outcome of the fight but Ramez insists that that would be foolish.
‘I’ve got to give him credit for the power that he’s got but I won’t be overthinking it – nobody wants to take too many shots in a boxing ring and I’m sticking by that line.’ In regards to my power, nobody should make the assumption that I can’t punch. I’ll leave it at that.’
Coincidentally, Mahmood has boxed exactly double the amount of rounds as Bourke in a professional ring including a full ten rounds. When asked whether this was an advantage when going into Saturday’s scheduled ten round contest, Ramez was quick to agree.
‘I’m sure that Chris has sparred plenty of rounds in the gym but one thing that I learned was that going into a long distance fight for the first time under the lights is a very different experience to sparring in the gym.’
A final point of debate when previewing this fight is the issue of weight, particularly when considering that Mahmood successfully made 126lbs when fighting for the Southern Area Featherweight Title less than twelve months ago whereas Bourke has weighed in at around 123lbs for the majority of his pro career so far.
‘I don’t think making 122 pounds will be an issue if I’m honest. I’ve always wanted to fight at this weight and I believe that I could have done so for the Jack Budge fight last year if I had been required to do so. If anything, I’m glad to have been given the opportunity to fight at this weight as I’ve always been confident of making the limit easily enough.’
‘In regards to my future over the next couple of years I think there’s a good chance that I’ll continue at super bantam but we’ll see – it’s nice to have the option of fighting at two different weights when exploring opportunities.’
Finally, this being the 2nd behind closed doors show in the UK, I was interested to hear about what Ramez had been told to expect differently from a packed York Hall.
‘So far I feel like all the bases have been covered on what’s going to happen and how things will be different. I imagine there will be a few things that we haven’t been alerted about yet but hopefully we won’t have any wild surprises in the build-up to the fight.’
‘I’m lucky enough to be blessed with great support so it’s a real shame that none of my friends or family or Chris’ for that matter will be there.’
When making some closing comments Mahmood confirmed his plans moving forward.
‘So no disrespect to the Southern Area, but I’ve already won one of those. I want to move onto bigger things after this and if you want my honest opinion I feel that both Chris & I are beyond southern area level.
Ideally, I want to move onto the English, British & Commonwealth immediately after Saturday night.’
‘Over the years York Hall has become a 2nd home to me and I’ve had every single one of my pro fights there but I want to continue to be on TV after this fight and although that could be at York Hall, I’d love to move onto bigger venues such as The Copperbox & The O2 Arena.’