Beeston boxing teen becomes national champion
Ismail Khan fights his way to the top
As British boxers continue to dominate sport headlines around the world this month, a local Leeds fighter has proven he is certainly ‘one to watch’ for the future after clinching a prestigious national title.
Bradford College Student, Ismail Khan, fought his way to victory in the National Association of Boys and Girls Clubs (NABGC) last week, triumphing in the 52kg category against the experienced James McDonagh.
Having qualified through the regional heats last month, the 18-year-old arrived at the national finals on Thursday 3rd December at Sir Phillip Game Centre in Croydon.
Both boxers made a cautious start to the contest, opting to fight on the back foot and waiting for their opponents to make a mistake and present an opening.
It was eventually Khan’s lightening hand speed and perfect timing which gave him the advantage over McDonagh, who had previously only suffered one defeat in his amateur career.
Landing some well-timed combinations in the second round, he kept out of reach of McDonagh’s jab, dominating the closing exchanges.
After a sweaty and sensational fight, Khan claimed a unanimous point’s decision and is now the proud holder of the NABGC 2015 title.
With the ABAs now in his sights, the future looks bright for the boxer from Beeston with this latest achievement put down to hard work and teamwork.
Speaking after his championship win, Ismail said: “I was really happy to win this title and I’ve worked extremely hard to get it this year.
“I knew this year was my year, since joining KBW. We have an excellent team and brilliant facilities and I have progressed really well since I moved.
“I’d like to give a big thank you to my father (and coach) Rash Khan, for putting the time in with me over the years and also my KBW coaches; Alan Haque, Tanny Hussain, Shammy Cheema and my old coach Keith Tate from Cleckheaton Boxing Academy.
“I would also like to thank all my team mates and friends, not forgetting my previous clubs, Burmantofts ABC and Hunslet Boys’ Club from Leeds, where I started my boxing journey as a child.”