Watch out for the Itauma brothers

Hot pro prospect Karol and phenomenal 17-year-old super heavyweight Enriko Itauma will be a force to be reckoned with

SEVENTEEN-year-old amateur super heavyweight Enriko Itauma is definitely one to watch. It’s hard for the precocious talent to get fights in the UK, so he had to wait for the European Youth Championships, in Sofia, Bulgaria, April 10-22, to finally get a chance to box. again.

“I participated in the nationals [this year] but everyone withdrew when I entered. I have already won the Europeans twice,” he says. boxing news. “Although I didn’t have many fights, I was able to share the ring with Joe Joyce, Lawrence Okolie, AJ [Anthony Joshua, in sparring]. It’s a kind of blessing in disguise. I didn’t have many fights but I learned a lot from sparring. I was also 16 at the time.

“Not many people in the heavyweight and heavyweight division move like me,” he continued. “I learned so much from Okolie, he was my first big breakthrough in the fight.”

The limited boxing opportunities have been a frustration. He’s accomplished a lot, even though he estimates he’s only had about 15 fights in the past eight years.

” I can not wait to go there. I just want to get in the ring as soon as possible,” he said. “I haven’t fought for a little less than two and a half years. I would like to get rid of the ring rust.

After the Europeans, he will aim for the world junior championships in November. “It would be the best thing I would win as an amateur,” he added. “That’s my goal, to win world gold.”

Enriko’s older brother Karol Itauma was a Youth Olympic gold medalist in 2018. He is now a professional boxer, still just 21 and will be next on Frank Warren’s March 11 bill at York Hall.

“People always talk to me about the Youth Olympic Games, for me it’s over, it was in the past. I live every day as something new, a new beginning and it’s my way of keeping my feet on land and always keep me hungry,” Karol said. “I’ve had five fights, but for me, I’m back to square one every time.

“I am grateful for the opportunities given to me, but the thing in front of me is more important.”

He last boxed on Anthony Yarde’s undercard against Lyndon Arthur, a quick and efficient knockout in the first round. “The atmosphere was crazy, a big card. The Copperbox arena is a beautiful arena and having so many spectators there was wonderful. The fight did not last long. But that’s what it’s all about. It’s about getting that experience and learning with every fight,” he said. “There will be times when I have to show another side of me. But that’s what it’s all about. Just take things as they come.

The two brothers trained together for years. “[Karol] started [boxing] at 14, I started at nine. He started a year before me. When he won his first national title, I thought I could do it too. Then, two years later, I won a national title,” Enriko said. “I still remember when I was nine, I was going for a run and I was crying. I wanted to quit. He was like, ‘No, you never stop, keep going.’ That’s what I learned – always be relentless, never stop.

“There is never a rivalry. We always push each other. Nobody wants to be second best. But there is never a rivalry.