Boxing: Mehran Khan wins National Championship
Date published: 19 December 2017
Steven Connellan and Mehran Khan
It is a fantastic end to the year for Hamer Amateur Boxing Club when they gained another National Champion in 19-year-old Super-Heavyweight Mehran Khan who won the Boys and Girls Clubs 91+ kg National Championship title beating Dennis Sparkes of Horsley Hill Boxing Amateur Club by unanimous decision at the Lancastrian Suite in Gateshead on Monday 11 December.
From the first bell Sparkes showed his intention continually pushing forward to take the fight to Khan whilst attempting to throw explosive punches to the head and body.
Although Khan was physically smaller than his opponent he did have his reach advantage which he tried to use to keep his opponent at bay but Sparkes continued to force him onto the ropes where he began to unload heavy blows.
The round was going in Sparkes favour, but as it progressed Khan began to find his rhythm and his range and use his jab to great affect whilst using the whole of the ring.
Sparkes maintained the pressure landing his clubbing blows but by now Khan had found his distance and as his opponent moved in he landed a left hook to the side of the head before spinning off out of range.
The bell rang for round two and Khan stepped out intent on building on his lead and whilst maintaining his distance he continuously snapped out a fast jab which jolted his opponent's head back every time it landed.
Sparkes was stubborn and never took a backward step hoping to muscle his way inside so that he could land his powerful punches but as he began to step into range Khan shot out four straight, unanswered punches which all connected.
The pattern of the fight had taken shape by now and Khan was gaining success every time he landed with his razor sharp, piercing punches.
As the round progressed both boxers were beginning to tire but when Sparkes landed a crunching right hook it inspired the local crowd who became more vocal.
Sparkes forced Khan on to the ropes and began landing crunching blows to the body and head.
When the ten second warning came to end the round it was Khan who showed great determination as he landed four more sharp unanswered punches to the head.
At the start of the third and final round, Khan landed a heavy right hand to the jaw of Sparkes, but the punch did not deter the local boxer who replied with three crunching hooks to the head with both hands.
Although clearly tired, Khan continued to use the ring to his advantage while using his long-range jab.
It was his boxing ability that saw him through to have his hand raised as the new 2017 National Champion.
Hamer head coach Steven Connellan said: "We have been working tirelessly on Mehran's jab throughout his training camp as we believe it to be his major weapon. It proved to be the correct strategy because that was the punch that won him the title against a very strong and capable opponent.”