Rizwan secures Yorkshire belt for Purge Boxing

Rizwan secures Yorkshire belt for Purge Boxing

Ravensthorpe boxer Rizwan Aslam claimed the 50-52kg Yorkshire belt after defeating heavy favourite Alex Taylor in Sheffield.

Aslam came into the bout with little training but was able to out-box Taylor - who previously had a record of nine wins and one loss, with four KOs - and it was Rizwan who won the fight with a unanimous decision.  

Rizwan trains at the Purge Boxing Academy in Batley and his father and coach, Mohammed Aslam, said it was a great achievement as the 14-year-old earned the first belt of his career. 

“Rizwan started with Dewsbury Moor rugby when he was nine but he ended up fighting on the pitch so we thought we would try and get him into boxing,” said Mohammed. 

“We went to Cleckheaton Boxing Academy but that closed down and we had nowhere to go.

“There was a group of us that stayed together and that is how the Purge Boxing Academy was born. 

“It went mad when Rizwan won, we all knew he had the potential but Taylor was a tough opponent. 

“Rizwan however was switched on and fought unbelievably well.”

The Purge Boxing Gym was established by Mohammed Amin Patel, Umar Arif and Waqas Hussain, and officially opened in May 2016. It is already one of the fastest growing boxing gyms in Kirklees. 

The trio were able to find a location in Alexandra Mills, and after nine months of work they officially opened. 

The gym now has several Yorkshire champions and over 72 fighters registered, with 15 more on a waiting list. 

“My partner showed me the place in Alexandra Mills and it was a big place with a lot of work to do,” said Amin. 

“There was a point when we wanted to pack it all in but we had four fighters who said they wouldn’t fight if we stopped training them.

“We have another Yorkshire champion in the gym, Haroon Arif, he won the Yorkshire belt as the underdog and has defended that title once already. 

“We also have Awais Liaqat who was a youth Yorkshire champion but he is currently out with a shoulder injury - he is a powerful fighter, he knocked out all of his opponents to win the Yorkshire title.”

Former British Champion trainer Julian McGowan has also joined the Purge Academy and Amin has described McGowan’s arrival as the ‘missing piece of the puzzle.’

McGowan has coached boxers for 30 years and formerly trained former British Champion Gary Sykes, but had decided to retire from training. 

He said: “I met Mo as he came down to my gym with some of his lads, I took some time out of boxing after a while as it was taking over my professional life. 

“After several conversations with Mo I decided to come down once a week, which soon became twice a week, and now I am up some mornings doing the sprints and here most nights.

“I have been bombarded with offers over the last two years and I told my wife I would only ever get back into boxing if it was with these guys at Purge. 

“It feels like there are special things happening here, Rizwan’s fight was unbelievable, he fought above his weight and all he needed to do was apply himself and have a bit of belief.  

“We also have a young fighter called Josh Hargreaves and he has a lot of potential, I can’t take credit for him because Mo does a lot of work with him.

“I just love the sport and you get a real pleasure from teaching it.”

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