Bradford boxer, Harris Akbar, has his sights set firmly on the 2020 Olympics after winning England’s only medal at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championship in Russia last month.
The 17-year-old Bradford College student brought home bronze from the tournament in St Petersburg, cementing his place amongst the world’s amateur elite.
The Great Horton teenager picked up third spot in the welterweight (69kg) division after being beaten on points in the semi-final by eventual gold medal winner, Sadriddin Akhmedov, of Kazakhstan.
The tournament was his last as a youth, as his looming 18th birthday will see him move up to the adult category.
He hopes to be invited to train with the Great Britain squad shortly with his long term ambition being a spot in the GB squad for the next Olympics.
“I want to get into that Great Britain squad more than anything because that means I can then start on the road to Tokyo 2020 and that is the main goal, to get gold in the Olympics,” said Akbar.
The talented teen has had enjoyed a stellar 18 months in the youth divisions, winning silver at the European Championships in Anapa this past summer after collecting the only winner’s medal for England in the Commonwealth Youth Games last year.
Akbar’s ambitions to go for ‘Gold in Tokyo’ are shared by his coach, Mally McIver, the Dewsbury-based former professional boxer who has been working with Akbar for eight years at the Bradford College and Police Boxing Academy at the college’s Trinity Green campus.
“He can go all the way,” said McIver, who was with Akbar in St Petersburg as part of the England coaching staff.
“I think he has a good chance of getting on GB because he has also won a Commonwealth gold this year and a silver in the Europeans.
“The welterweight is one of the hardest divisions but they are definitely looking at him and I think he will progress.
“He is a pleasure to train and work with. He is very determined.”