Bradford College has another rising star of boxing on its roll.
Eighteen-year-old Amaar Akbar reached the finals of the England Boxing National Amateur Championships.
Though the teenager ultimately lost out on the top prize to Sam Noakes of Kent, his progression to the finals in his very first year in senior competition, and just four years after taking up the sport, has captured the attention of many within the sport.
Amaar Akbar with his Warrior Breed team - PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDY CHUBB
Akbar beat the number one seed, Isaacs Milburn on his way to the finals, which were held at Manchester Central Convention Complex at the weekend.
While disappointed not to get the title, the teenager described making the final as a “big thing” in his first year since stepping up from the youth ranks.
“I’ve only had 30 bouts and been boxing four years,” said Akbar.
“I won two national titles in my first two years and also Yorkshire titles, but then I had a tough time of it as a Youth and even though I knew I could win things, it didn’t quite work out that way.
“This year things have come right. I think the headguards coming off as a senior has helped me because you can see more shots coming.”
Mally McIver, boxing coach at Bradford College, said: “Getting to the final is a hugely impressive achievement for someone who has only been boxing four years and has only just stepped up to the senior level.
“Amaar definitely has an exciting future. He is one to watch.”
The light welterweight trains at his father’s Warrior Breed gym in Dewsbury and is studying a Level 3 Sports course at Bradford College, which boasts among its former students Nicola Adams OBE – the first woman to win an Olympic boxing gold medal – and Team GB’s ‘Hurricane’ Harris Akbar, who is aiming to represent Great Britain in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo having last month won a silver medal in the European Under 22 championship in Russia.
Harris Akbar, who is no relation to Amaar, would have been involved in the National Championships too but for injuring his hand in winning the European silver medal. The injury denied him the opportunity to make it three national titles in a row, having won it in 2018 and 2017.
Two more boxers from the Bradford College Boxing Club, which is based at the College’s Trinity Green campus on Easby Road, Bradford, narrowly missed out on making the finals in Manchester. Jake Leeming, an engineering student, got to the semi-finals, while Jade Ashmore lost a close split decision in the quarter finals.