A BOLTON boxer has spent lockdown training harder than ever in the hope of a big opportunity in the new year.

Osman Aslam has not fought for 12 months but has certainly not wasted his time out of the ring.

With 14 fights and 14 wins, Aslam says part of the last year has been spent reflecting as he gets ready to launch the next stage of his career.

The 26-year-old said: “I have spent the lockdown learning about myself, because when you’re always training you might lose yourself and forget who you are.

“So, I have got to know myself again as a person.

“People have suffered during the lockdown, but I think I have benefitted from all the free time, despite the bad things happening.

“I have not taken anything negative from it, I just made my time during lockdown more positive and worked much harder than ever before, so I’m ready for the new year.”

Aslam was scheduled to fight at the University of Bolton Stadium in March, but saw the event cancelled when the first lockdown brought an abrupt halt to all sporting events.

He said: “I was feeling down at first but after that I thought that everything happens for a reason and that fight was simply not meant to be.

“You feel lonely and left out, so for me I trained my best and made sure I felt amazing.

“This (last few weeks) has been better than the first lockdown, back then at first I was not used to it and now I am in a better place.”

In recent weeks and months, Aslam has done everything he can to ensure he's as dedicated as he can be in training.

He said: “I see phones and social media as a distraction and it aids depression for many people.

“People will post their best pictures of their life and so when you are going through a bad time, you will see their best time and think they are better than you.

“All I’m doing is eating, training, praying and sleeping.

“I want to inspire young people but not just with boxing – they can become successful at anything they want doing things the right way."