Back-to-back national title success for Batley boxer Josh Hargreaves

Josh Hargreaves in black. PIC: Andy Chubb
Josh Hargreaves in black. PIC: Andy Chubb

JOSH Hargreaves secured back-to-back National Development titles with a comfortable 4-1 split decision win over the Army’s Jordan Phelps last weekend.

It is the third year running that the boxer, who trains at the Purge Boxing Gym at Alexandra Mills in Batley, has reached the final of the England National Development Championships.

Josh Hargreaves with his coaching team.

Josh Hargreaves with his coaching team.

Hargreaves admitted that he felt like a better boxer at this year’s event as he secured a stunning win to make it two national titles in as many years.

“This year I’ve been fitter, I was ready, I just felt better about myself,” said Hargreaves.

“I’m a different person than last year. I felt a lot better in the ring, I felt like a better fighter.

“I just lived the lifestyle and dedicated myself to boxing, it’s the sport I love.

“I wanted this title and I left no stone unturned and went out there and did it.

"Last year there were three two-minute rounds and this year it’s three three-minute rounds as it’s a step up in class.

"I’ve adapted to the three-minute round. Every fight I’m getting better.”

Hargreaves is trained by owner and head coach of The Purge Boxing Academy, Mohammed Amin Patel, and his brother Ben Hargreaves.

And following his success as an amateur fighter, the pair hope to see the Batley boxer make the step into the pro ranks within the next year.

Mo Patel said: “Josh Hargreaves is maturing as a fighter. He’s looking to go into the pro ranks after this season, he’s focused, he's dedicated and very punctual at the gym.

"His attitude is fantastic and he is now undefeated in two years.

“He is just one tough fighter. Josh has an old school style which is loved by proper boxing people and fans.

"He has grit, heart, a good chin and his condition is unreal. You will hit him with one but he’ll throw three.

“Boxers try to overcome him and intimidate him by using strength because his had only 16 bouts but Josh overpowers them.

"He’s made for the professional game and the transition is going to be very smooth in my opinion, because he’s already like a seasoned pro.”

Hargreaves’ brother, Ben, feels that the national champion’s style makes him a difficult prospect for any fighter.

He said: “You can’t train for him. You can bring intense sparring partners in but you’re not going to replicate his style.

"You get your standard average top boxers and you get his style, and it’s totally unique. You can’t emulate his style.”

He added: “The lad he beat was an army champion, he’d had a lot of fights.

“Everyone from the army is super fit but he was fitter. And that’s a kid who’s doing it for a living in the army.”