Four-midable Sahil Khan is a national hero
A rising star in English boxing continues to earn plaudits as Sahil Khan secured a fourth title in 12 months – and is tipped for a bright future.
Khan, 15, successfully defender his National Association of Girls and Boys Community (NAGBC) Championships with a superb victory in the weekend's showpiece nationwide final in York.
The NAGBC victory last December his first national boxing title last December but Khan has seen off everything in front of him in a dominant 2018 that has seen him claim two more national wins in between his community crowns.
In February Khan, from Dudley, won the Junior Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) title before a notable success a month later in the Great British Three Nations tournament.
Merridale Boxing Club starlet Khan national quadruple comes as little surprise to his coach at Wolverhampton-based Merridale, Kadir Khan.
Despite just three years in the sport, the coach has tipped his prodigy for greatness, if he maintains his attitude.
"He just finds a way to win," Khan said of Sahil's latest success. "He trained very, very hard for this and he did it once again.
"To be honest we expect it of him. We know how he trains. Every major tournament he has he's won.
"There is 100 per cent something special about him. I said it from day one, there was something about him and he's going to go far.
"If he sticks to everything, stays hungry and humble, how he is, he'll do very well."
Khan, who progressed through regional rounds before claiming the NAGBC title, boxes for England at regular training camps. He is officially ranked number one for his age and weight in Great Britain, despite being one of the youngest in the under-16 category.
He beat Dagenham ABC's Tariq Agius, from London, in the final on a unanimous scoring decision in the class B 50kg final. Agius, a three-time national title winner, was a tough opponent but Khan won out 4-1.
Khan has come through tussles with similar solid opposition in his successful year, including fellow multiple title-winner, Mykyle Ahmed Ahmed, of Manor Boxing Academy in Sheffield.
Merridale's coach Khan added: "Although it's amateur we take it very seriously. It's a platform and about experience before he turns pro.
"That's the goal and plan. In the meantime we'll do everything we can to prepare him for being a future European or possibly Olympic boxer.
"If anyone can in my club then he can."
Hillcrest School student Khan's application and progress has impressed so much that councillor Alan Taylor, announced as Mayor of Dudley earlier this year, approached the youngster about becoming an ambassador for youths in the town.
"Unfortunately because of his England boxing, 12 camps a year, he doesn't really have time," says dad Ifraz.
"It is a proud moment for myself and the boxing club. It's a massive achievement.
"He's also studying for his GCSEs as well as training seven days a week.
"Winning one (national title) is a big thing but to win four is massive.
"As his father I could not be more proud. I am the proudest person in the world.
"I want him to be recognised and for other kids to realise nothing is impossible."