The UK’s biggest amateur boxing competition are to be held in Nottingham for the first time and a 15-year-old boxer from a city-centre boxing school will be competing.
Christian Burn, 15, from Mapperley has been boxing at Nottingham School of Boxing since he was nine-years-old and is now training to compete at the National Amateur Championships.
Christian said: “I am looking forward to competing at this level in the 64kg weight category.
“My last fight was in the Box Cup, it was a tough fight. I lost on a split, but it was really close. I think I will enter it again this year.”
The initial rounds of the tournament will be held at Harvey Hadden Sports Village in Bilborough on April 5-7.
Founder of Nottingham School of Boxing and youth work charity Switch Up, Marcellus Baz BEM says he believes with Christian’s commitment to the sport he has the potential to win.
He said: “Christian joined the club as a young kid. His parents basically wanted him to stay out of trouble and do something positive.
“He tried other things before boxing and never really stuck to them, but he has come here and stuck to it and now he is competing at a high level.”
Mr Baz was named Community Coach of the Year at the UK Coaching Awards 2017 for his work organising free boxing sessions for young, vulnerable people at risk of getting involved with gangs.
He was also given the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero award at the 2016 Sports Personality of the Year awards for his dedication to the community.
England Boxing’s decision to move the competition outside of London was to give participants and coaches from the North an easier route to the event.
Lynsey Lockey, England Boxing’s Competitions and Events Manager, said: “We were aware that, after being in London last year, we also wanted to give competing members and coaches who live further north a turn in getting to the venue more quickly, easily and at a lower cost.
“We’re also excited to have an East Midlands venue involved for the qualifying stages, especially as Nottingham’s Harvey Hadden is an excellent, modern facility that is well-equipped for a multi-gender and divisional event such as this.”
Finalists will then travel to Manchester Central for the showcase finale of the competition, formerly known as the National Elite Championships, on Saturday, April 13.
The Championships will feature some of the best upcoming boxers in the country, including talented individuals currently on the GB World Class Performance Programme looking to secure a place to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
There are 11 male weights and 10 female weights expecting to be staged in the last leg of the contest that will mark the end of a month of boxing starting with the initial qualifiers in the England Boxing regions.
A few of the 2018 winners are Nina Hughes, Hannah Robinson, Dalton Smith and Jordan Reynolds.
The Championships, historically knowns as the ABAs, have been held every year since 1881, aside from breaks during the two World Wars.
Among the legendary champions that have previously competed are Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Henry Cooper, Frank Bruno, Nigel Benn, Nicola Adams and Savannah Marshall.