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Keighley's Muhammad Ali vows to box clever in revenge bid at Youth Olympics
Keighley’s new Youth World Championship silver medalist Muhammad Ali has vowed to box smarter if he gets the chance to earn revenge on Shakur Stevenson later this summer.
The 17-year-old missed out on a flyweight gold to the American in last week’s final in Bulgaria but is determined to prove he can go one better at the Youth Olympics in China.
His achievement in Sofia qualified him for the prestigious event in Nanjing, which takes place from August 16-28, with the pair set to be seeded to meet again in the final.
Ali said: “I’ll come back and train even harder but if I face him (Stevenson) again I need to get my tactics right, show more patience and use my head.”
The Bradford College student was frustrated by his American opponent, who became the first youngster from his country to win both junior and youth titles.
Stevenson – ranked world number one and boxer of the tournament last year – was docked a point for holding on and admitted his 3-0 success was “the ugliest win ever”. Ali felt he deserved to win the contest but was delighted to come back as one of Great Britain’s two medalists from a squad of 12, Peter McGrail also gaining a bronze.
The Keighley youngster won five fights, including a semi-final triumph over Azerbaijan’s Masud Yusifzada which had the crowd chanting his name.
Ali, who turns 18 next month, said: “It was a great experience – the best one of my boxing career so far. All the training I’ve put in over the last six or seven years is paying off.
“I had a few butterflies in my first fight but after that I was just buzzing. Hearing everybody chanting was just amazing.”
GB team manager James Thomas said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Mo. He has been incredibly focused throughout the competition and has been a credit to the GB team.”
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