Rizwan boxes clever to seal first national title for Purge

Rizwan Aslam is congratulated by his teammates at the Purge Boxing Academy in Batley following his victory in the England Development Championships last Saturday.

Rizwan Aslam secured a first national boxing title for the Purge Boxing Academy in Batley, when he defeated Oliver Killestkien to win the England Boxing Development Championships 52kg final at the Solihull Leisure Centre in Birmingham last Saturday.

Rizwan, who has just turned 16, defeated the much fancied Alex Taylor to win the Yorkshire title three weeks ago and having received a bye in the national quarter-finals he then overcame North West champion Declan Smith, of Jimmy Egan’s Gym, in the England Development semi-finals.

Around 50 supporters from the Purge Academy travelled to Birmingham last week to watch another classy performance by Rizwan.

The Ravensthorpe youngster was awarded the bout by a split decision, although many at ringside thought it was a more comfortable win for the Purge fighter.

Purge were formed around 15 months ago, after the Cleckheaton Boxing Academy folded.

Mohammed Amin Patel had the idea to create a new boxing gym in Batley and with the help of friends Umar Arif and Waqas Hussain, they have produced a top class facility, based at Alexandra Mills.

Former three time national champion Hamza Hussain is now based at Purge, while former Great Britain Olympian and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Qais Ashfaq is also training out of the Batley gym ahead of his professional debut.

Purge have enlisted the help of former professional trainer Julian McGowan, who is helping coach a talented stable of youngsters.

The gym is regularly attracting upwards of 75 fighters from Dewsbury and Batley and already has a waiting list for other youngsters wanting to join.

Purge have already won five Yorkshire titles and now have their first national crown following Rizwan’s success.

Rizwan said: “Being around Qais Ashfaq and other champions has been very inspirational in helping the other lads become champions.”

Rizwan’s father Mohammed Aslam paid tribute to the coaches at Purge, adding: “Mohammed Amin Patel had the vision to create this gym after the Cleckheaton Academy closed.

“Rizwan was one of four boxers who were going to give up the sport but Mohammed has provided a facility we can be proud of.

“Julian McGowan joined Purge about seven weeks ago and really sharpened Rizwan up in the build up to his fights.

“It has been a real team effort and everyone who worked with him believe in his talent.”

Purge co-founder Mohammed Amin Patel paid tribute to the gym’s first national champion and said: “Rizwan has been through a lot as his brother passed away and he spent about 18 months out of boxing.

“We knew what he was capable of and I think he is now doing this for his brother. After 18 months without boxing, he has certainly done the club proud.”

Rizwan, along with fellow Purge Stablemate, 17-year-old Adeeb Ajmal, now enter the National Association of Boys Clubs tournament this weekend aiming for more success.

More from Sport