Clayton teenager defeats Keithley rival to win Yorkshire boxing title

Teenage Clayton boxer Muhammad Amar Farooq got his revenge on Keely’s rival Jamal Rehman on Saturday night to become Yorkshire champion for the third time.

The 17-year-old was feeling the pressure. Not only did he want revenge for his loss to Lehman, but he also wanted his father and mother, and especially his cousins, to be proud.

Farouk’s cousin was in a coma after a car accident but is recovering, and the young man said, “It’s been really hard.

“When I was told what had happened to him, I thought I was dreaming and almost passed out.

“Having been ill myself had a big impact on me, but I felt I needed to train hard and win Saturday’s fight for him.

“He woke up from his coma and sent me a message wishing him good luck before his fight with Jamal.

“He’s fine and he’s home now, even though the doctors are still looking after him.

“He told me he didn’t want to be hospitalized anymore because he was so bored.”

Farouk was determined not to let Lehmann lose a second time in Saturday’s 63.5kg bout, saying, “I wouldn’t say it was the hardest fight I’ve ever had, but I had to beat him.

“The last time we fought, when he beat me, I wasn’t in great shape, so this time there was pressure to win and make my mom and dad proud.”

The win crowned the Bradford boxer an Elite Youth Yorkshire Champion. His third Yorkshire title was added to his two hull box his Cup which he has won in recent years.

“I want to win titles every year,” Farouk said.

“I now have three Yorkshire titles and two box cups and my CV reflects it all.”

Farouk would not have achieved so much without the assistance of Mohammed Amin Patel, coach at the Purge Boxing Academy in Batley.

The young Clayton talent said, “Mohammed has helped me so much since I came to Purge.

“He organizes private boxing sessions for me and always makes time for me.

“He knows I have the extra to go to the next level, so I feel like he worked harder for me than anyone out there.”

When speaking with T&A in 2021, it looked like Farooq’s next level would be the 2024 Paris Olympics.

However, his goals have changed: “Paris is not an option right now and the 2028 Olympics (Los Angeles) is still a long way off.

“I’m still young and my decisions may change and I may do something else.

“In any case, I’m not sure if I’m actually interested in Olympic boxing anymore. There is talk of being excluded from the program and the UK is cutting funding for it.

“In any case, I think it’s going to be difficult at the pro level, so I’d like to try that instead.”

For now, Farooq aims to win youth titles at the national level after their regional success.

He will compete in a national qualifier on February 5th and a win will take him to the three-day final in Birmingham later this year.

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