MIK Basi has received the ultimate honour in world boxing.
The 46-year-old has been selected to be a referee at the London Olympics.
And he admits the accolade hasn’t quite sunk in.
“There are times that I still have to pinch myself to make sure that I’m awake and not dreaming,” said the former East End boxer who lives in North Stifford.
“There are only 35 officials at the Games – and just 13 finals.
“So I’ve got a good chance of being there in the ring at an Olympic final which would be incredible.
“The fact I will be working at the games is still sinking in and rippling out to friends and people I know,” he said.
Basi has been a top class Three Star international referee for several years, but actually started out boxing in the 1970s as a youngster and got as far as Schoolboys’ competitions before A-Levels and work came along.
But he came back into the sport a few years later, determined to give something back.
He said: “I suppose it does sound corney, but I really got involved again to give something back to a sport which I had enjoyed and which had given me so much.
“Boxing is, first and foremost, a working man’s sport.
“First the judging was just local stuff, then London area judging and national refereeing.”
His years of dedication and experience was rewarded as he moved up through boxing’s official qualification system and in 2009 was made the first Three Star referee in Britian – making him one of the boxing’s world’s judging elite.
“A month ago I was judging in China and then when I got back we were whisked off to a Olympic seminar, put through some tests and then told that we would be officiating at the Games. It’s a great honour,” he added.
“You only find out which bout you will officiate at about ten minutes before the bell. But it would be great to be involved in one of the finals.”