Bilal Akkawy: “My punching power is in my genes”

RISING Sydneysider Bilal Akkawy is being touted by those in his inner circle as one of the hardest punchers in Australian boxing.

The 22-year-old, who has made a super impressive start to his professional career, has ended ten of those eleven wins inside the distance with some of the most spectacular highlight reel knockouts you will see.

Akkawy (11-0-1, 10 KOs) explains his power has come naturally to him.

“It’s something I’ve always had, even as a younger kid, I have always been able to throw a decent shot,” said Akkawy to Aus-Boxing. “It’s in the family genes.”

Fresh off a stoppage win against Argentine Guillermo Ruben Andino in Melbourne, it was set to be Akkawy’s biggest challenge to date, with Andino coming in to the bout undefeated as a 9-0 challenger.

After dropping Andino with a spectacular counter right hand in the first round, the Argentinian miraculously survived until the fifth round when fight was eventually called to a halt by referee Alan McColl.

It is yet another step in the development of Akkawy, who amazingly had no amateur career before entering the professional ranks back in 2011 as an 18-year-old.

When quizzed on just how difficult it was to start out as a professional without such a background in the amateur ranks, Akkawy says growing up in a boxing family certainly helped his cause.

“It was quite difficult as I came to notice and appreciate after a few fights,” he added.

“Having said that I have been fortunate enough to have sparred and learnt from some of the best amateur and professional fighters in the country having grown up in a boxing family and around a boxing gym environment,”

Akkawy has serious punching power. Anyone that has seen Akkawy fight live can attest to such. His knockout on debut over Kiwi, Mick Jones was seen on highlight reels right across the boxing world.

Some might begin to feel the pressure of expectation. The expectation to end fights in such devastating fashion, after such a beginning to a career. But not Akkawy.

“On some previous occasions I had felt that pressure, in recent times I try to focus on boxing a little more and pace for the full distance of the fight. It is all part of the development process, so if it comes, it comes.”

Akkawy has a smart team of people behind him.

His father and trainer Mick – who famed trainer Johnny Lewis once said was the hardest puncher he had ever seen – and uncle Al Akkawy have been in the sport most of their lives.

They are not rushing the young bull, and Bilal explained that to have such a team of astute boxing people behind him is a blessing.

“A great team makes it easier for the fighter to be focused and function at their best,” Akkawy concluded. “My father and uncle make up the core element of the support team,”

“I have also been blessed with additional professional and friend based support. They all help out in the background without seeking continued recognition,”

“A big thank you to all of my team, you know who you are.”

Words: Dan Smart/Follow Dan on Twitter @dansmart76
Photo: Sandra Mu/Getty Images



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