Boxing: Anwar’s targeting tilt at British welterweight title

Adil Anwar.
Adil Anwar.
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Leeds sensation Adil Anwar has set his sights on British welterweight champion Ashley Theopane after heroically securing the vacant English title belt last weekend.

Anwar produced an amazing performance in Manchester last Saturday when ending the previously unbeaten record of Coventry’s James Flinn to become English welterweight champion.

The Leeds boxer was only notified of the fight just four days earlier when former belt holder Adnan Amar pulled out injured but Anwar took his opportunity with both hands – forcing an eighth-round stoppage after twice putting Finn on the deck in round seven.

Anwar, nicknamed the Platinum Kid, is now hoping for a crack at the British welterweight title with current holder Theopane defending his belt against Nigel Wright at Peterlee Leisure Centre in County Durham on December 10.

And Anwar will be rooting for a Theopane victory – hoping that he will be his next challenger for a fight that would likely take place in February or March next year.

“There’s a high possibility of going for the British title now and we have sent a letter to the British board of Boxing Control,” Anwar told the YEP.

“We are just waiting on them to take a decision on who will be the mandatory challenger.

“After winning the English title the British title is the next step so they will take that into account and hopefully they will make me the mandatory challenger.

“Ashley Theopane is a great fighter, he is a great technician and that will definitely be a step up in class for myself.

“That would really put me in there as he has got a world ranking as well and he’s not only a good domestic fighter, he is a world class fighter.

“Hopefully he wins the fight on the 10th and I can take him on after that.”

Last weekend’s victory in Manchester sealed an amazing comeback for Anwar – a highly talented amateur whose career was derailed following a car accident back in 2005 that led to 18 months out of the ring.

Given just four-days’ notice, Anwar says he was only 70 per cent fit last weekend and admits it feels superb to be a national champion though even in adversity the Leeds star says he never lost confidence in his own ability.

“It feels great to be English champion and hopefully it will open more doors for me,” he said.

“Being a champion of England – it’s a bit of a status isn’t it?

“It was just about taking that opportunity and hopefully now I can go for the British title.

“That’s the ultimate aim to be honest and it was all about getting a fight like this out of the way before Christmas. It’s all happened overnight and it has just been overwhelming.”

Anwar now hopes he can take that progress further. “That’s the idea – to put Leeds back on the map for boxing,” he said.

“I am looking to take it to the next level and hopefully I can carry on as I am and keep going from strength to strength.”

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