Although it’s been a while since he’s had a chance to go toe-to-toe against an opponent, Sayed’s not lost focus of his ultimate goal: to bag the SA title in his prefered weight division – the junior welterweight category.
An all-round sports fan, Sayed had a stint with Santos Foootball Club’s Youth Academy as a youngster and played a bit of cricket, but it’s always been his lighting fast hands that stood him in good stead. No wonder a friend called him Super Sayed, following his first amateur bout.
This, Sayed said, was a play on the term Saiyan from the 90s television series, DragonBall Zee. Fans of Japanese anime or cartoons, might recall that the term relates to the characters’ levels of power, which is ranked from weakest to strongest and is called, Saiyan.
But unlike the cartoon charatcters, Sayed could not rely on magical super powers to estabish his reputation as a formidable opponent inside the ring.
Instead, a good work ethic, consistency and natural ability helped him to climb the ladder in an arena packed with a number of bright prospects.
He’s been boxing since 2012 and has an impressive record of 20-4 amateur fights under his belt.
He turned professional two years ago and his pro record currenty stands at 3-1.
Like many of the Cape’s promising boxers, Sayed earned his stripes under the guidance of veteran trainer, Emil Bryce, at Bryce’s Boxing Academy, in Ottery. He jokingly says that he’s never been one to crack the books but prefers to let his fists do the talking, which begs the question: What got him into boxing?
“That’s a question I get asked a lot. I’d say it’s a number of things. Number one, I definitely knew I would not be studying, it had to be something physical.
“I’ve always been involved in sport and I’ve tried many different avenues .
“I’ve tried soccer, I’ve tried rugby and I’ve tried cricket but for some reason, nothing compared to the feeling that I received from boxing itself. And, that’s where I’m trying to make my mark.”
Like most folk caught up in the lockdown situation, Sayed also had to find creative ways to continue his training and his work as a persoanl fitness trainer.
“Aside from boxing itself, I’ve been very fascinated by the coaching aspect of boxing. As such, I’ve offered my time to train some amateur boxers in Cape Town.
“I feel that I can’t just focus on myself to become a champion, I’d also like to encourage the youth to follow that path and to motivate those who are not motivated,” he said.
“I don’t just want to be that fighter from Athlone or Cape Town. I also want to give back to my community and help those who need me to help them.
“Whether you suffer from mental fatigue or lack of fitness, I want to be that guy that people can look at and say: he never gave up, I also don’t want to give up.
“What I found out is that a lot of people that I’ve helped or trained over the years, or those who came to me for a bit of advice, they train their bodies but the one thing they lack is that mental preparation.
“You can train your body as hard as you like, but if your mind is not there, then what’s the point of putting in all that hard work.”
As for himself, he said, the immediate goal once things open up, is to have a shot at the SA title and to fill up an arena.