One of Bradford’s most promising young boxers has flown out to Russia this week to represent England at the Youth World Boxing Championships.
The 17-year-old Bradford College student will fight for his country at welterweight, 69kg, at the AIBA tournament in St Petersburg that begins on Thursday 17th November.
Born and raised in Great Horton, the teen heads into the tournament in optimistic mood having brought home a silver medal from his last trip to Russia, five months ago for the European Youth Championships.
“I feel really good - training has been going well,” said Akbar, who is among a team of just eight fighters that England Boxing have sent to St Petersburg.
“I am a bit nervous but really now just want to get in there and do my business.”
Highly-rated Akbar claimed the only winner’s medal for England in last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games
A member of the Bradford Police and College Boxing Academy, which is based at Bradford College’s Trinity Green campus, he is joined on the trip by his club and college coach, Mally McIver, who is part of the England training staff.
McIver, a former professional from Dewsbury, has high hopes for his protégé.
“He has got a good chance of winning a medal,” the optimistic coach added.
“It will be tough. There are 48 competing at his weight, making it one of the busiest categories. But with a good draw he is more than capable of delivering a medal.
“He deservedly won silver at the Europeans in Anapa over the summer and it is great to see him step up to the worlds now.”
The AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships run from 17th to 27th November.