Making of a man as Chris Luteke wins national title

Chris Luteke of Steel City ABC after winning the England Boxing Senior Novice Championship
Chris Luteke of Steel City ABC after winning the England Boxing Senior Novice Championship

Chris Luteke showed fully grown men how it should be done as added another national title to his growing collection.

Manor fighter Luteke claimed the England Boxing Senior Novice Championship 81kg title at London’s historic York Hall last weekend.

Though still classified as a youth boxer at 18, the Steel City ABC member competed against senior fighters to win his title.

Trainer Grant Smith said: “It was a fantastic achievement for Chris because he was in there with grown men.

“And everyone he came up against in the championship had a winning record so it was far from the easy route.

“Timon Douglin who he beat in the final was unbeaten and so were the two men he beat in the semis and quarters.

“He boxed really well and he continues to get better all the time.”

Congo-born Luteke was crowned Youth ABA champion in February and could win his third national title in the same calendar year as he continues to chase the Clubs for Young People (CYP) championship.

His achievements are more remarkable given that he had never set foot in a boxing gym until knocking on the door at Steel City ABC in Attercliffe two and a half years ago.

“Chris works his socks off for boxing,” coach Smith said.

“He trains twice a day as well as going to Hillsborough College. He’s a real workhorse and it’s paying off for him.

“He’s still a work in progress and there’s still a lot about him that is raw but you can’t really argue with the success that Chris has had so far.

“He’s boxed for England already but I’d just like for him to get a bit more recognition.

“It’s difficult with him still being a novice but if he carries on how he’s going, it’ll come.”

Luteke’s latest title win is the fifth to be captured by Steel City ABC in the last ten months.

Members Junaid Bostan, Sunny Edwards and Dalton Smith – son of trainer Grant – have all claimed national titles in 2015. Not bad for a gym that only has eight carded fighters.

Smith snr said: “I’ve been lucky because I’ve got a really hard working group of boxers.

“They’re committed. They make sacrifices like not going out with their mates at an age when that’s all young lads want to do.

“And they do what I ask. All of that is why we’ve had the success that we have.

“I’m really proud.

“There are gyms that never win an ABA title and we’ve had five in the last year.

“It’s down to the hard work they put in and I’m sure there is more to come.”

n Colliston Edwards of Doncaster Boxing Academy was another winner at the Senior Novice Championships.

The 20-year-old claimed the 56kg title after beating Connor Holloway on a unanimous decision.

Victory at York Hall stretched Edwards’ winning run to 16 fights.