1. ITV Report

Refugee dreams of becoming boxing superstar

Shabir Haidire dreams of becoming a world champion Photo: ITV News

An asylum seeker, who crossed Europe to get to the UK aged just 14, says he wants to be a world boxing champion.

Shabir Haidire has just won the ABA class A Championship which makes him a national champion.

He has been fostered by a family in Gloucester and says that his life has in the past, and his journey to safety, has not been easy.

Shabir and his trainer John Pitman. Credit: ITV News

Afghanistan was Shabir's home, a country with many orphans of war and the brutal regime of the Taliban, and then ISIS.

He decided to flee and it was a year long journey across Europe. He ended up in the infamous Calais jungle camp with the fear of death still with him.

The Calais jungle camp. Credit: ITV News

It is not an easy journey, you could die at any time. You don't think about a house or a family, you think about whether or not you will die along the way and if anyone will know about you.

– Shabir Haidire, Boxer

Shabir spent 48 hours in the back of a lorry to get the UK.

He was classed as an asylum seeker and ended up with foster parents in Gloucester. He joined the Fight Factory boxing club and never looked back.

He is totally different to anyone I have ever met. He is a strong individual, he has come out of himself since he arrived.

– John Pitman, Trainer
Shabir is fostered by Ann McDonald and her family. Credit: ITV News

His foster mother Ann McDonald says she regards him as another son.

I tried to get Shabir to focus on the future, put the past behind. He has got a lot of opportunities now that sadly lots of people left in Afghanistan don't have.

– Ann McDonald, Foster mother

My ultimate dream is to become a world champion and have a good family.

– Shabir Haidire, Boxer