Sweden has been a happy hunting-ground again for fast-improving Mansfield boxer Nico Leivars.
After landing two major titles at the King Of The Ring Box Cup there in November, 19-year-old Leivars returned to win an international round-robin open-class tournament at the weekend.
He dedicated his success to dad Julian, who celebrated his 48th birthday this week and has overseen his terrific transition to senior level.
“They were two convincing victories against top opposition,” said Leivars. “Big thanks to my coaches, Sab Leo and my dad, for the great tactics.
“It was a great early birthday present for my dad. I couldn’t ask for a better dad as a coach.”
Leivars arrived late in Sweden and didn’t check into his hotel until just before midnight. He had to weigh in at 7 am the next day and then fight at 9 am. But it didn’t stop him beating Portuguese champion Sergio Rodriguez in his opening bout.
On the front foot from the off, he pushed Rodriguez back with some fast combinations and won every round to gain a unanimous verdict.
The next day was free, so Leivars spent the time ticking over in the gym and, as a massive Mansfield Town, keeping an eye on Stags’ progress against Macclesfield.
He clinched the gold medal with a second victory on Sunday morning. In an outstanding performance, he controlled the fight, picking his shots well.
Leivars, who fights in the 56kg weight category, has won four of his five bouts since joining the senior ranks and now goes on a training camp to Italy before tackling the National Elite Championships.