A 15-year-old boxer from Dewsbury is just one win away from clinching the national Junior Develop-ment Championship title, despite only taking up the sport less than 18 months ago.
Amaar Akbar, competing out of Warrior Breed gym, has picked up three victories over the past five weeks to seal his place in England’s final, where he faces off against Cualay Suttie, from the Thames Valley.
Defeating challengers from across the country, the finals at Rotherham’s Magna Centre on Saturday 10th October will be the Mirfield Free Grammar pupil’s biggest test to date but one he says he is ready for.
“My preparation has been good in training and in sparring and I am confident for the fight next week,” he said.
“I’ve always believed that I can go far as long as I stay confident and just keep putting the hard work in. It is great to see it paying off with the national championships.”
Akbar has a stellar fighting record since taking up the sport, losing just one out of 10 bouts, and will hope to earn his tenth win in next weekend’s 54-57kg final.
With victory likely to open many more doors for the aspiring future Olympic competitor, he adds that disappointment in last year’s championships will act as further motivation this time around.
“Last year I lost in the Yorkshire finals so I really wanted to win that one which I did earlier this year,” he said.
“Now I’m in the final of the nationals and it is a great opportunity.
“I will be fighting a guy from London who I don’t really know much about but as long as I box as I know I am capable of doing so, I know I can win. The fact we are fighting in Yorkshire as well will be a great feeling.”
In May 2014, Akbar had his first boxing session and has never looked back.
Training at Warrior Breed with his coach and father, Zahir, he is following in his father’s footsteps in the sport and both are determined to ensure the teenage prodigy can achieve his full potential.
Zahir adds: “I am 120 per cent confident that he has all the skill and ability needed to win the national title next week.
“As a boxer myself in my younger days, it is great to see Amaar succeeding in the sport, at levels few people can, and we all just want to see him bring home the English championship.
“Since earning our affiliation in October 2014, Warrior Breed have had five Yorkshire champions as well as finalists in the national schoolboys and junior competitions. Amaar’s fight next week is another example of the huge strides we are making as a gym in such a short time.”