England Boxing National Amateur Championships 2019 – Leivars, Nadim and Adaway eye Under 56kg title shot
April 3, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny
Nico Leivars believes he has what it takes to win the England Boxing National Amateur Championships 2019 at his first attempt as he prepares for the short trip down the A60 to box in Friday’s pre quarter-finals at the Harvey Hadden Sports Village in Nottingham (5th April).
Although the 19-year-old (pictured right) will be representing Home Counties-based Hoddesdon Boxing Academy in the Under 56kg category, he was born in Nottingham and does a chunk of his training just down the road in Mansfield at the Quarry Lane Boxing Club where he started out.
Leivars, who lives in Sutton-in-Ashfield, is looking forward to healthy support and is determined to acquit himself well, having enjoyed Box Cup success and victories over the Swedish and Portuguese national champions during the winter.
“My aim is to be the best in the country and to call myself a national champion,” he said. “If you don’t want that, then you are not in it for the right reasons.
“You want to box well across the three days and then go on to the finals next weekend… getting to this stage has been 11 years in the making after I started out aged eight to lose a bit if weight.
“I have won tri-nations as Juniors and Youth, so now I want to show I can do it as a Senior boxer as well.”
Representing the North West at Under 56kg is Bury ABC boxer Ibrahim Nadim, 20, who clinched his spot in Nottingham by beating Timperley’s Michael Mulvey on a split decision.
In going for glory, he will be looking to follow in the footsteps of 2004 Olympic silver medallist and former world professional champion Amir Khan by flying the flag proudly for his club.
Coach Michael Jolley, who has been involved at Bury for the past 55 years, following on from his dad before him, says his man would love to make it through to Finals Day, being held just down the road from them at Manchester Central on Saturday 13th April.
He said: “Ibrahim lives in Keighley (Yorkshire) but travels across to train with us and is very much looking forward to boxing on the national stage.
“We’ve had a lot of good boxers come through the gym down the years and he’s another of those looking to carry on the tradition.
“We had a champion at the Youths in February at this same weight (Abdul Khan) and it would be fantastic if Ibrahim could follow suit, but we know it is going to be tough – it always is when you get to this level.”
At the other end of the country, Plymouth’s Connor Adaway (above) will be making the 250-mile four-and-a-half hour trip north to flying the flag for the Western Counties in the East Midlands.
The 20-year-old has been with the city’s Intense ABC club for two years now and sees this Championships as an ideal platform to highlight his progress in the ring.
He said: “I’ve been all over the place, even to the Isle of Man to box – you have to get used to it if you want the bouts,” said Adaway. “I’m ready for this and trained harder for this than anything else in my life.
“This is the biggest competition you can enter as an amateur, the biggest stage, and it would mean the world to me if I could get through to Finals Day.
“It would be nice to put the city of Plymouth on the map. We’ve had one or two champions in the past, (including Mayflower ABC’s Scott Dann) but not too much since.”
The number one seed in the category, selected by the England Boxing seeding panel, is Lewis Coley from the Kingstanding 2nd City Club in Birmingham.
Last year’s Under 56kg final saw Brad Strand of Everton Red Triangle beat Liam Davies of King’s Heath.
Tickets are available on the day at Harvey Hadden for all three days, priced £20 adults, £10 concessions (65+) and £5 children (6 to 15-year-olds). Under 5s are free.
Boxing starts at 1pm on the Friday and Saturday (12noon doors) and at 12noon on Sunday (11am doors).