Mussab Abubaker has dedicated his next contest to the memory of his brother as he starts to put a horrific experience behind him.
Boxing has been at the back of his mind for nearly a year, after struggling to come to terms with the nature of the incident.
Abdul Rahman Abubaker was gunned down at a street barbeque in Highgate, Birmingham, last May and later died from being shot in the chest. He was just 24 years old.
Abdul and Mussab had previously set up their own family business in Birmingham, a dessert shop called Bubble Rolls on Ladywood Road.
Mussab then began his pro boxing career and has racked up two points victories, outpointing Danny Little and Paul Cummings.
Tragedy then struck and began the process of Mussab coming to terms with his grief, with a business still to run after showing promise as a boxer.
The 26-year-old super welterweight turned over after just two fights as an unlicensed boxer, but has shown a natural aptitude for the sport and has yet to lose.
Resuming that journey is what he believes Abdul would have wanted, so Mussab is determined to make him proud on Friday’s fight night.
It promises to be an emotional evening when the Abubaker name continues in the sweet science, on BCB Promotions’ first bill of the year in Birmingham, at the H Suite in Edgbaston.
Mussab said: “I’ve had something come up in my life that I wouldn’t wish for any other person to go through and I’ll never forget it.
“Nothing can bring my brother back, but he was always a big supporter of me following my dreams and this is what I want to do.
“Boxing is a state of mind, in many ways, so there’s no way you can fight unless you are thinking straight. That has taken some time.
“We are at a point now where it’s helping me, by keeping my brain active through the training and getting ready to get in there again.
“Every single day I am in the gym, I’m learning and it’s giving me something to focus on. I’m improving all of the time.
“I’ve already had a couple as a pro, so it’s not like I’m starting from scratch. I hit my first opponent with some good shots, so it was a good debut.
“I wasn’t that pleased with my second one, perhaps I went looking for a one-punch knockout a little bit too much.
“This time, I want to keep my stance more, stay relaxed and put on the best performance that I can. It’s important to get the win.
“I’ll always have Abdul in my heart and it’ll feel like he’s in my corner. Everything I do from here is to honour his name.”
The Midlands flyweight title will be contested in a battle of Birmingham at the top of the bill, when champion Ijaz Ahmed defends against Matt Windle.
Four other under-card contests support the main event, with all of those occupying the home corner from the second city or in the surrounding towns.
Another area champion, Midlands lightweight boss Kane Baker, engages in a keep-busy affair to get his 2019 up and running.
Baker, from Bartley Green, defeated Ishmael Ellis to win the vacant strap in December and now undertakes his 15th pro outing, looking for a 10th victory.
Jordan Clayton, of Solihull, appears for the 11th time as a pro as he continues his progression down to welter, with new coach Tom Chaney in his corner for a second time.
Clayton only boxed once in 2018, recording a points win over MJ Hall – forenames Matthew James – after nearly nine months out of the ring.
Daryl Pearce, of Rednal, steps in for his second paid affair. He arrived with a points success over Mohamed Mahmoud at welter last June.
Super lightweight Brad Thomas, a protege of Frankie Gavin, could only draw on his bow in September and will want to go one better this time.
Tickets, priced at £35 standard or £65 VIP ringside with a buffet and waitress service, are on sale now. It will be £40 for entry on the door. For more information, contact the boxers.