In his early days, Amaar would wrestle and box with his older brother, Hamza Akbar, in their living room. They were always into boxing and would regularly compete with one another to see who was the strongest. Amaar’s dad, Zahir Akbar was a probation officer before setting up a gym for the kids within the area.
As Amaar grew older, his passion towards boxing grew more and more and this caused him to not really focus much on school. In school he explained, he enjoyed going but didn’t really focus much on his studies because he wanted to be in the ring. But Amaar’s father was adamant to make sure his son had an education and to not only focus on boxing; so would regularly tell him how education was vital and he needed to keep his head down.
With his father’s guidance the Dewsbury lad, completed school and even went on to do further studies in college. After leaving college and completing his studies, he knew that his inner drive was to pursue a career in boxing.
Along the way, unfortunately, Amaar’s uncle and younger brother passed away. Amaar’s brother suffered from a heart condition which resulted in him passing away at just the age of nine.
The loss of an uncle and brother had an impact on Amaar and his family, with emotions of frustration that were beginning to build-up inside and the only way they found a solution was releasing their anger in the gym. At this point, Amaar took his boxing career more seriously as the tension within him rose.
Zahir Akbar, the father of Amaar and coach at Warrior Breed Boxing gym based in Dewsbury explained, “I know being a probation officer I needed to stay strong and to be honest with you, it was very hard trying to keep a normal face in front of my kids.
“I needed to stay strong for them even more because they lost their brother and uncle, and I knew the best way was to get into the gym.
“When we opened the gym, all the frustration just went, and we were so focused. I could see in Amaar’s eyes this was a way out for him”.
Mr Akbar not only opened the gym to help his own family deal with the grief in their family but explains how a lot of kids within the community joined to overcome their own challenges and he explains:
“I know being a probation officer on how to deal with kids and to be honest with you, I didn’t imagine this many kids would actually come”.
A very important message Mr Akbar wanted to stress was, “Its not about being champions in boxing. You might think why I say that, but I’ll tell you why. My mission is to get these lot to be champions outside of the ring which is more important. And when they’re coming to the gym, 3 to 4 times a week, and the dedication they put in, it really makes them believe they can do and achieve anything. That’s my goal and that’s why I do it”.
When asked about the signing of his son with Frank Warren and Queenbury promotions he explained, “That’s nothing to do with just me but everyone here. Its to do with everyone in the gym who supports each other. Amaar knows it as well that I’ve helped him as much as I can but it’s about the family we’ve made here. It’s about these kids now having a role model whether it’s my son or not. This is what the youth need”.
He finally adds, “We’re proud because we have kids from all over. Dewsbury, Batley and everywhere else”.
He’s had the chance to fight all over the UK and explained how he took a fight in Poland in his amateur days. When asked about who his favourite fighter is he said, “I know this sounds a bit mad but my dad is the fighter I look up to. It’s not about him physically fighting but doing what he could to help us when we needed him the most – but I’ll have to admit it has to be Floyd Mayweather Jr too”.
Religion also plays a vital part in Amaars life and when asked about being a Muslim and the conflict Islam has with boxing he explained, “I don’t want to lie and say well, this or that, we all know boxing isn’t right in Islam, but I do it because I enjoy it. Not to go against what Islam says but I do believe boxing makes you very dedicated and you appreciate yourself more because we put our bodies to the limit in training and it just shows how far we can get and that’s a blessing itself from Allah. So I’m thankful for boxing that’s made me reach those limits but they’ve only happened because of God above showing me”.
The future prospects for Amaar look bright, with a contract signed up with Frank Warren and Queensbury Promotions being a former two division national champion and seven division regional champion before becoming a pro at the age of just twenty.
Amaar is keen to continue his rise into boxing but wants to focus on a fight at a time and inspire young, up and coming talent, up the rankings!