Ex-Bradford College student sets sights on reaching the top | #students | #parents

A FORMER Bradford College student believes he can go right to the top of the professional boxing game if brought through correctly.

A two-time national and six-time Yorkshire champion, it is fair to say Amaar Akbar has excellent amateur pedigree and now he is aiming to transfer that success into the paid ranks.

Last month, the super lightweight made a flying start to his pro career by whitewashing his opponent live on BT Sport.

Speaking on that victory, he said: “It was more like a sparring match because of the no crowd element, but my pro debut being on TV says it all.

“He (Chris Adaway (10-69-4)) came to win. A lot of journeymen have more time to be in camp because of Covid. He came prepared and ready to beat me, so it was a good experience.

“I would have brought a big fanbase but the support watching on TV was still massive for me.

“I’m 20 and I have got a lot of time, I am still a kid. I will take every fight as it comes and see how far I can get. If I am moved the way I want to be, I believe the sky’s the limit.”

The man in control of Akbar’s movement is none other than hall of famer Frank Warren.

The veteran promoter, who has guided the likes of Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe to world honours in the past, swooped in to take the Dewsbury boxer last year.

Fresh from starring in the 2019 National Amateur Championships finals, where he beat the number one seed before falling at the final hurdle to the talented Sam Noakes, Akbar earned a GB trial and his future seemed set to go down that route.

The pandemic put paid to those plans though, and as soon as Warren’s Queensbury Promotions came calling Akbar’s mind was set on turning over.

“I was the youngest at my weight, 18, and we ended up going to the final and getting a GB assessment out of it. It was more of a positive than a negative.

“Because of the coronavirus it all got cancelled and we weren’t sure what to do until Frank came in with the offer and it was just right timing.

“The amateurs are still struggling to get going, that was one of the reasons. Another one was if Frank Warren offers you a deal you don’t turn it down.

“He has made so many world champions and he knows how to direct fighters. It was the right move.

“After completing my Level 3 Sports course at college, I was doing personal training. But when I got a pro deal, I quit that and put all of my time into professional boxing.”

Ever since day one dad and trainer Zahir has been by Amaar’s side at his Warrior Breed gym in Dewsbury.

The Amir Khan-inspired boxer added: “My dad opened a gym which did MMA and boxing. I started off doing a bit of both and then when it was time to decide what to do at 13, I stuck with boxing because I was better on my feet punching.

“I started competing at 14. I was excited because I knew I was really good at boxing.

“When I had that first fight, without being disrespectful, I knew I was levels above. Even without having a contest, I was more experienced because I had been doing it in the gym since I was a little kid.

“Me and my dad are like mates. We do everything together; we are quite close.

“When we used to watch these amateur kids, winning national titles, we thought they were superheroes.

“When we got to that stage it was a massive achievement. Everything was just crazy.”

With Ramadan fast approaching, Amaar thinks he will next be out in the summer.

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