A 19-YEAR-OLD boxer living in Boscombe, who has faced many challenges before stepping into the ring, is now being tipped to be the next big thing.

With a record of 5-1, Omar Hassan Mirsall’s start to his boxing career has been pretty plain sailing. However, his journey to the UK was anything but.

Having seen violence and people killed in his village from a young age, Omar left his family and embarked on a journey to find a safe place to live aged just 15 , encountering long coach journeys and dangerous crossings by boat to end up in the UK over two years ago.

Growing up in the Sudan was tough, people fight every day. I was scared and I wanted to get out and find a safer area to live.

From the Sudan, Omar travelled to Libya by coach where he crossed over to Italy on a boat with close to 100 people on it, some being children.

Everyone was safe on the boat and everyone survived the journey

From there, Omar caught another coach to France where he spent four months in the Calais favelas before catching a final coach to Weymouth.

It is very difficult to get out of France. People try so many different ways to try to get to England, I was very lucky that I was accepted onto one of the coaches because I was on my own.

As an accepted asylum-seeking child, Omar has been living in the UK for two and half years and has recently started at Bournemouth and Poole College studying English.

But in August this year, he found his true calling in life when he stumbled upon an outdoor training session in a park in Bournemouth.

Coach and promoter Daniel Lockwood said: “Omar came along and waited until we were done and came up to and said that he wanted to join.

“His story is really inspiring. I didn’t know a lot about his story when I met him, but he has come so far so quickly. Doing that journey has made him such a touch man.”

Standing at six foot five inches and weighing 77kg, Daniel, manager of Lockstock Fitness and Lifestyle in Poole explained Omar already has the physical qualities to go far in the sport.

“After looking at him in training and seeing his physical attributes, it became quite clear to me that this kid could be something special.

“I have been a boxer and a promoter for many years, and you see fighters with some attributes but lack in other departments.

“I have never seen a fighter with so many defining attributes like Omar. He has the heart of a lion; he could get into the ring with any man.”

With personal aspirations of turning professional and big money fights expected in the New Year, the future looks bright for young Omar.