British-born Bangladeshi boxer Al Safwan Uddin made a flying start in the 29th National Senior Men's and 4th Senior Women's Boxing Championship which got underway at Muhammad Ali Boxing Stadium in Dhaka Wednesday.
Safwan, whose hometown is in Sylhet, is playing for Jhalakathi's Ramjankathi Technical & Agriculture College in the event, and made his national championship debut in the ring by knocking out Mohammad Kamruzzaman Jony of Dinajpur. Safwan's technique and physical attributes appeared too much for Jony, which saw the duel turn completely one-sided as the referee raised Safwan's hand as the winner after Safwan knocked down his opponent three times within three minutes of the opening round.
"He (Safwan) is only 19 years old but has better technique and body structure than the local players around here. He will easily be champion among the youngsters here, but we will be more sure about his potential after watching his next game against Bangladesh Army [Friday]," said MA Kuddus Khan, the general secretary of Bangladesh Amateur Boxing Federation, to Dhaka Tribune. Safwan was accompanied by his father Joblu Uddin, who moved to England in 1995.
Kuddus also informed Dhaka Tribune that another British-based Bangladesh expatriate boxer named Shamim Khan came to Bangladesh one and a half years ago. He trained with the Bangladesh players for around a week and is 13 years older than Safwan. "As he (Shamim) works for the British Army there we cannot bring him whenever we wish. Another problem is bearing the expanses," said Kuddus.
In the mid 1990s, there was another British boxer named Bryan Ahmed who represented Bangladesh in the South Asian Games but his performance was not upto the mark, added Kuddus.
Meanwhile, a total of 117 male (nine weight categories) and 50 female (four weight categories) boxers from more than a hundred boxing clubs are participating in the three-day event. There are 53 boxers from different services teams, who eventually emerged as the winner in the past. Last time the tournament was held in December, 2015, the Bangladesh Army boxers took first spot in all the categories except one.