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Harris Akbar awaiting Great Britain call
Harris Akbar hopes to punch his way to European Championship selection to continue an outstanding season.
The 15-year-old lightweight, who attends Grange Technology College, has a strong claim for a call-up to next month’s tournament in Russia.
He has already won the Great Britain class three 57kg title at the home international championships, defeating Scottish champion Daniel Allen and Englishman William Webber from Hoddesdon.
That avenged a loss earlier in the season during his third appearance in the ABA national finals.
Akbar was also part of the England squad that won the Hvidovre Box Cup in Denmark and he put that international experience to the test in the recent AIBA junior worlds in Kiev in Ukraine.
He was disappointed not to get the decision over tricky Cuban champion Noelvis Ceruti but felt his performance showed enough to prove he was comfortable with competing at that level.
The first two rounds were tight with Akbar countering the southpaw’s defensive stance with combinations to the head and body, his straight right proving effective.
The Cuban got ‘on his bike’ for the third to stay out of distance, though Akbar still landed with some heavy hooks.
The Bradford youngster thought he had got the verdict but the judges went with his opponent, who went on to lose in the final.
Akbar is trained by Mally MacIver as part of the Bradford College Boxing Academy and the England squad will be there as part of their preparations for Anapa.
Grange PE teacher Alistair Langron said: “Harris is always smiling and modest. He takes the pressure of his intensive training regime and fight schedule in his stride while studying for his GCSEs.”
Meanwhile Otley light-flyweight Jack Bateson, another college boxer, is taking part in the senior world championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan. They run from Friday until Sunday, October 27.