A YOUNG Bradford boxer has taken her first steps in trying to emulate her “idol” sister.

Saleena Razak, 14, who trains at Bradford Police Amateur Boxing Club (Bradford Police ABC), claimed gold in the Midlands Box Cup last Sunday.

She defeated Ellie Dodds of Horsley Hill to earn her first belt of her amateur career.
In 2019 Saleena’s sister, Alvina, became the first Bradfordian girl to ever compete for her nation, as she struck bronze at the Great Britain Three Nations Tournament 

She also became the first Pakistani Muslim to box for England in this country.

Imran, father and coach of the talented siblings, spoke of his delight after Saleena became the latest member of the family to succeed in the sport of boxing last Sunday.

He said: “I’m so proud of her because she works so hard in the gym, she has a real drive to succeed and she always wants to learn that little bit more.

“Alvina, her sister, represented not just her country back in 2019, but she was a representative of the Asian community and Saleena is determined to follow in her footsteps and represent the country one day.

“She saw what her sister did, and it seems to have given her that extra motivation to go out there and show what she can do. 

“We were all so proud of her performance last Sunday, and I get the feeling that this won’t be the last of her achievements in this sport. I’m confident that she’ll reach her goals if she continues to work hard.”

Imran added: “In addition to that, yes, more girls are getting into boxing as a sport, but we don’t see many Asian girls taking up the sport. There are very few that do.

“So, wins like this make it even more special.”

Discussing Saleena’s future prospects, Imran said: “Saleena’s first goal is to become a topflight amateur; it’s important to build a strong foundation at amateur level. 

“I know her end goal is to become a professional boxer, but that must be an end goal. Experience at amateur level has to come before, and as a family, we are in no rush to get into professional level.

“We’ll continue to take each step as it comes and we’ll see how she fares from there.”

Offering his thoughts on whether young girls should get into boxing, Imran said: “It can be a dangerous sport, there’s no hiding that.

“However, it breathes confidence, discipline and character into young children or a person of any age for that matter. It’s a great skill to have.

“If anyone was contemplating starting boxing, then I’d tell them to give it a go. 

"They’ll enjoy it and you don’t have to fight competitively. It can be a great way of getting fit, while it can give you a focus.

“The Bradford Police ABC is a great gym to get started at because we are a tight knit group and we act like a family. Anyone is welcome.”