MO BABAZADEH holds his right hand out in front of him and flexes his fingers in and out. “It’s been hard,” he grimaces. “Really hard.”

The 25 year-old is talking about the injury that has prevented him from boxing competitively for almost a year, a frustrating delay that will finally come to an end on September 15 when he fights on the bill of MTK Scotland’s Boxing Dinner Club at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow. A super-middleweight, Babazadeh will look to extend his unbeaten record to 6-0 against Englishman Matthew Wigglesworth.

He could have been referring, though, to his enduring struggle just to get to this point. For Babazadeh has suffered hardship more than most. Born into poverty in Iran, he was only six years old when he and his two younger sisters were orphaned when his parents were killed in a car crash.

Raised by his uncle, aunt and grandmother, Babazadeh took up boxing aged 11 and demonstrated immediate aptitude, racking up an amateur record of 106 victories from 109 fights and winning an all-Asian junior title. Unbeknown to him, the sport was in his genes. “My uncle didn’t want me to box at first but wouldn’t tell me why. It turns out my dad used to be a boxer and once knocked out a world champion but nobody had told me that. My uncle was worried I would get hurt like my dad used to.”

The worst pain, however, was emotional rather than physical. Anticipating the chance to represent his country at the 2012 Olympics, he was overlooked for a boxer with a lesser record. London was calling but not for him. “It was all political. I had beaten the guy before but they sent him instead. He had money and I had nobody behind me.”

Disillusioned, the setback set in motion a chain of events that would lead him to Scotland, an arduous 4000-mile journey over land and sea that took several weeks to complete. Glasgow would be his final destination.

“I never thought one day I would come to a place like Scotland,” he admits. “I never spoke any English when I arrived and only knew one person here. But I have grown to like it here a lot. Scottish people are the best in the world. Everyone is very friendly.”

Working as a barman to make ends meet, a return to the boxing ring helped restore a sense of his old self even if the difficulties persist. Picking up this hand injury has been just another problem he has had to deal with.

“I went to see so many doctors and it seemed like nobody could fix it,” he adds. “When I went for an X-ray they thought it was maybe arthritis or some loose bone in my hand. I could have had an operation but it would have meant no fight for a year and a half. And it would only have been 50:50 chance of success. And then it just healed by itself.”

Babazadeh is nothing if not persistent, however, a weary smile accompanying his tales of woe. He is grateful for the backing of two people in particular. His fiancée Denise has given him constant encouragement – the pair also run boxing fitness classes out of a gym in Old Kilpatrick – while the other is Sam Kynoch, owner of MTK Scotland and also now his trainer. “Sam wants to take me to the top and I believe in him. It is hard as I don’t have a sponsor or much money. But we will get there together, step by step.”