THE man who put celebrated diabetic boxer Muhammed Ali into the ring is now going to get his own endorsement ­— for his business acumen.

Ali's manager, Asad Shamim fought tooth and nail to overturn a ban preventing diabetics from competing.

Using that same determination and an ability to box clever by changing his clothes shop into an online furniture outfit, Asad now has a multi-million pound business employing 25 people.

As a result he has been named as a finalist in the Asian Business Leaders Awards

Situated in a 3.2 acre site in Farnworth, his firm Furniture in Fashion sells everything from sofas to TV stands, a business Mr Shamim created in 2007 when he realised how the internet would revolutionise the way people shop ­— despite, he says, being warned that the gamble might not pay off.

Mr Shamim said: “I saw that stores like Primark and Matalan with their tremendous buying power were making the high street a competitive market that we couldn't keep up with.

"You have to take calculated risks – even being in business is just a risk – predict, envisage and expedite your plan at the correct time.”

He says his motivation is driven by success rather than money.

Mr Shamim gives back to his community by mentoring young people through school talks and he founded a charity named Insaaf ­— translated as “Justice for You”­.

He is also aiming to create 17 work units to enable small local businesses to hire the flexible space that they need.

Mr Shamim added: “It makes sense. E-commerce is on the rise and people need space at reasonable rates, with no burden.”

The Greater Manchester Asian Business Leaders awards recognised e the individuals and businesses that have made a powerful contribution to the economy and their community. The award ceremony will take place on Thursday.

Organiser Muzahid Khan, said: “What so many of the finalists are exhibiting is a solid work ethic, an ability to adapt and a willingness to engage with their local community. Asad is another prime example of this and he is a powerful role-model to young and would-be entrepreneurs everywhere.”