BOLTON boxer Ali Akbar Javid added a Tri-Nations crown to his national schoolboys’ title to cap off an amazing year for the teenager.
The 13-year-old, who trains at Bury ABC with Mick Jelley, the man who coached Amir Khan to Olympic silver, was picked to wear the England colours at the annual championships in the Doncaster Dome earlier this month.
He performed brilliantly to reach the final of the competition, which pits together the best fighters from England, Wales and Scotland.
Akbar Javid, who lives off Chorley New Road and is in Year 8 at Eden Boys School, endured a tough opening bout in the semi-finals, winning through his encounter with Welsh champion Patrick Mullane on a split decision in the 52k division.
There was no questioning the result in the final, however, as he won gold by a unanimous verdict following a polished performance against Scotland’s Sam Allen.
«He boxed really well – I was so pleased with the way he performed,» said Jelley.
«It is a credit to him he was able to make it this far.
«There were only four boxers in each division, one from Scotland, one from Wales and two from England, because we were the hosts.
«To think Ali is now the best boxer in his weight in England, Scotland and Wales is an amazing accomplishment and I so proud of him.»
Jelley, of course, knows a thing or two about progressing young amateur boxers into the international arena.
After helping Khan qualify for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens he repeated the trick this year after 20-year-old protege Muhammad Ali earned a place to compete in the flyweight division in Rio.
The experienced coach was unwilling to predict a similar career path for Akbar Javid but certainly believes the teen is ready to make the next step up.
«He is first reserve for the European schoolboy championships, which I don’t understand because I think he should be on the plane,» said Jelley.
«Ali is the national champion and Tri-Nations champion — he couldn’t have done any more.
«The lad who has got the nod is a year younger. He will have another chance to make the Euros next year, but this was Ali’s last chance as a schoolboy and I believe he should have been chosen.»