ADIL ANWAR – THE PLATINUM KID
Growing up in the nineties watching the likes of ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed, Nigel Benn and Mike Tyson would give any aspiring boxer the appetite to work hard and chase a dream of succeeding in this pugilistic sport. Though boxing has long had its detractors due to the unfortunate tragedies that have occurred in the ring in the past, notably in 1991 when Michael Watson suffered brain damage in a devastating defeat at the hands of Chris Eubank in their Middleweight title fight, boxing has always been an alluring sport to enter. But why would you consider boxing a boxer? It is one of the toughest and most competitive sports to enter and the likelihood of making it to the elite level are pretty low. Personalities such as Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Robinson, Marvin Hagler, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis succeeded in taking the sport beyond the ring and into people’s lives and hearts with their impudence, larger than life antics and mesmerising skills in the ring. Hence, boxing is still one of the most popular sports amongst youngsters today and every time an aspiring boxer enters the ring for the very first time, he dreams of boxing like Ali, possessing the power of Tyson and live the lifestyle of current superstar Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.
One such youngster who grew up watching these greats on television was Leeds based welterweight boxer Adil Anwar. Starting his career at the tender age of 14, Anwar was encouraged by his father to take up the sport as he found it a good way of disciplining him and staying fit at the same time. “My dad was the one who took me to the gym and introduced me to boxing, and I took to it naturally. From there I developed a passion for the sport and couldn’t see myself not pursuing a career in boxing“, he tells the Urban Echo.
Growing up in Leeds, Anwar was mainly inspired by former heavyweight world champion Muhammad Ali. Watching old videos of ‘The Greatest’ further enhanced his love for the sport and determination to make it to the professional ranks. Anwar tells us, “Like many boxers and people in general, Muhammad Ali was my boxing inspiration. He was an amazing athlete and an inspirational figure inside and outside the ring”.
But as Anwar quickly found out, boxing is very unpredictable and lonely sport as one punch can change the course of a fight as well as change the course of a career. In only his second professional fight he suffered a point’s defeat to Graeme Higginson. It was a bitter pill to swallow but it also gave Anwar a renewed passion and determination and in the process he went another eighteen fights undefeated and people started taking notice of the ‘Platinum Kid’.
Training every day of the week leading up to a fight and watering down to three days training when a fight is not scheduled, Anwar’s hunger for establishing himself as an elite fighter is just as intense as when he laced up the gloves for the first time many years ago as a kid. Although he lost his last fight to Chad Gaynor in a shattering knockout in round two, Anwar tells of his determination to succeed, “I have to stay dedicated. It’s an extremely tough sport with many ups and downs, but if you keep working hard and believing in yourself, it will be worth it in the end.”
Though the ‘Platinum Kid’ is currently fighting at welter-weight division, if the right fight does come along he will be willing to move down to light-welterweight. Currently ranked fourteenth in the country, Anwar’s potential matchups are very exciting and could be explosive. Domestic fights with the likes of current Commonwealth champion Willie Limond as well as a mouth-watering match up with former world champion Amir Khan at light-welterweight could be possibilities with the former being the best alternative as Anwar has all the tools to dethrone the Commonwealth champion.
The welter-weight division is full of big hitters as Anwar knows too well with his latest defeat against Chad Gaynor, who is currently ranked sixteenth in the UK. Depending on his next move and whether he overcomes his next foe, Anwar can potentially square up to bigger names in the division. Led by Sheffield based world title contender Kell Brook, other potential fights could be against Bradford based veteran fighter Junior Witter, Manchester’s highly rated Denton Vassell, or undefeated British and Commonwealth Champion Frankie Gavin.
With age still on his side, the next few years could be very interesting for the Platinum Kid! As Michael Buffer famously says before a fight… “Let’s get ready to rumble.”