Huddersfield Gladiators Boxing Academy achieved success at a Rotherham amateur show with two impressive wins and one strong display in defeat, writes Luqman Liaqat.
Gladiators’ Ammar Akbar, at 52kg, showed great skills in a unanimous points victory against Sheffield Lane Top’s Hawzeen Azeez at the Burlington Club.
Akbar fully deserved the decision, using height and reach to his advantage and by throwing the cleaner shots.
Akbar captivated the crowd from entering the ring to stepping out, and the attacking ability of the Dewsbury youngster was evident through his excellent workrate and punching output.
Trainer Dennis Doyle said: “I was happy with his long reach when he slipped in quick punches in the opening round.”
The other Gladiators’ winner was Jacob Quinn, a novice boxer making his debut against KBW’s Kassim Hussain at 60kg.
Their fight started at a high tempo as Quinn chose to negotiate Hussain’s jab and opted for strong punching.
Settling into a rhythm was not an issue for the 16-year-old featherweight and he landed a couple of brilliant left crosses from his Southpaw stance in the third and final round.
Quinn always looked composed and comfortable and claimed a deserved unanimous points triumph.
Doyle explained: “Jacob totally dominated his opponent from the first bell and he even had time for some showboating.”
The third exciting Gladiators prospect to take the ring in Rotherham was Connor Doyle, against Mohammed Hussain of KBW.
Doyle caught his opponent with a couple of smart shots in the closing seconds of the first round, resulting in a standing eight count.
During the second round both fighters settled down and Doyle found room for the jab, but the long reach of Hussain came through with right counters of his own.
Light-flyweight Doyle continued to put in a strong display, but it wasn’t quite enough as the taller and heavier fighter was judged the winner by a unanimous decision.
Trainer Doyle was satisfied with the performance despite the loss, saying: “He boxed really well, to be fair, against a tough fighter.”
Meanwhile, Gladiators are always on the look-out for funding for punch bags, headgear, gloves pads and other equipment.
They’ve been told the club (based in Linthwaite) is not in a minority area, although they have members from all over the district and from all backgrounds, making it a real community set-up.
The gym provides sessions for people of all ages, from six upwards, and Doyle explained: “We have attracted all sorts of people. We keep the kids off the streets and away from trouble. They learn quickly. A lad from Thornton Lodge reminds me of a young Prince Naseem. He has brilliant movement and slips in good shots.”
Amateur boxing shows are an integral part of the Academy, which started with a yearly show in 2011.
Ever since that opening show at the Huddersfield Sports Centre, five have taken place, moving the gym from strength to strength.
On their upcoming Christmas show (December 12), 18 young fighters will feature.
“After the debut show, the programme has become bigger, better and stronger”, said Doyle.