BRADFORD boxer Harris Akbar has won a European silver medal.

The Hurricane bagged a runner-up spot at the Under-22 European Boxing Championship in Russia last weekend.

Akbar was part of the Great Britain Boxing Squad that travelled to Vladikavkaz - close to the south-east border with Georgia - for the tournament.

In total, the team picked up six silver medals and two bronzes, with several golds eluding GB by a fraction.

Welterweight Akbar was one of those battling for top-spot on the final day of the competition after making it through his semi-final bout against tricky German Richard Meinecke.

It was England versus the hosts for Akbar’s tournament defining fight and it was a tight affair.

The former Bradford college student just missed out on the gold though, with a 3-2 split decision in favour of his Russian opponent Vakhid Abbasov.

Both Pavlo Vasilinchuk of Ukraine and Cem Taylan Dunar of the Netherlands were the two to vote Akbar’s way.

They voted 29-28, as did Serbian Aleksandr Vucicevic in favour of Akbar’s opponent.

But, the final two judges - Ediberto Enrique Acendra Lopez of Spain and Swede Christer Palmen - gave Abbasov 30 points to Akbar’s 27.

There were some aggrievements at the decision and Akbar said he was initially disappointed with missing out on gold. But, on returning home his feelings have shifted.

He said: “I wanted the gold and it was tough to take, but now when I think about it, coming home with something in my hands is a really great achievement and we can build from here.”

On an Instagram post Akbar added: “My heart will always be at ease knowing that what is meant for me will never miss me, and that what misses me was never meant for me.”

It’s easy to forget that the Hurricane is still only 20-years-old, having experienced success already at his tender age.

Bradford is still close to his heart though and he still represents the Bradford Police and College Boxing Club.

Akbar said: “I’m really proud to represent Great Britain, but also to be representing Bradford, where I come from, on this stage.”

Mally McIver, Akbar’s coach, was on separate Great Britain duty in Finland at the time of the championship but said he’d spoken to the boxer and was incredibly proud of his efforts abroad.

He added: “He’s a good lad, he’s polite, works hard and he wants to be a role model to other youngsters out there, especially those in Bradford.”

McIver admits they were disappointed not to bag the gold, but that on reflection bringing home a silver from tough hosts Russia was a fantastic achievement and now the focus moves to progressing even further.

He said: “He’s got that underdog Bradford spirit about him, definitely. We’ll be keeping him fighting as an amateur and, if he isn’t competing at Tokyo next year, we’ll certainly expect him to be fighting at the next Olympics after that.”