Keighley's Ali aims to end year on a high

Keighley News: Teenage prospect Muhammad Ali Teenage prospect Muhammad Ali

Keighley boxer Muhammad Ali has not let politics and red tape stand in the way of his progression this year – and he is determined to end 2013 by doing the same.

Ali was prevented from making an international mark this year due to the International Boxing Association’s suspension of the Amateur Boxing Association of England over governing issues.

But that has not stopped him from achieving success and he will fight in the final of the 50-52kg category at the National Ambition Boxing Championships in Derby-shire tomorrow.

And, denied a chance to shine at the European Schoolboy Cham-pionships as the ABAE’s suspension was not lifted in time, the 17-year-old is intent on not missing out anywhere else.

“I was meant to be going to the European Schoolboy Champion-ships in August but because of the ban we couldn’t go there,” he said.

“But 2013 has still been a really good year because I’ve been winning a lot of tournaments.

“I would have given my year ten out of ten if we’d gone to the Europeans. But as we couldn’t I’d probably give it an eight or nine.

“I’ve learnt this year that I need to be more patient in the ring and not throw so many punches. I think that will help my fighting generally.

“My training is still pretty intense so we can win these next fights and then I’ll start easing off.”

Harry Limburn of Southampton is Ali’s opponent in the Derbyshire event but the Bradford College pupil insists there will not be much rest for the wicked regardless of the outcome.

He said: “I won’t take a complete break but will continue light training over the winter. I’m training four or five times a week at present.

“I used to find it quite hard to balance my training with my school work and stuff but now I’ve got used to it and am balancing everything together.”

Lloyds Bank Local Heroes, in partnership with Sports Aid, has supported 1,000 of Britain’s most talented developing athletes. As part of Lloyds Bank’s commitment to helping future sports starts prosper, the programme has continued in 2013. Follow future stars at www.lloydsbank.com/localheroes.

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