A teenage boxer, whose chances of taking to the ring looked in doubt after he suffered serious injuries when he was hit by a car, has claimed a major title and could now be selected to represent his country.
Robert Dunn broke his tibia and fibula after being knocked down by a car in April 2014.
The schoolboy, from Hendon, was left traumatised after the incident and at one stage it looked as though he could struggle to walk properly again.
But the 15-year-old found solace in boxing as he fought his way back towards fitness.
Last summer he won a competition at the Monkstown International Box Club in Ireland.
And Robert has built on that initial success by taking a National Association of Boys and Girls Clubs title in the 42kg category, while just a few weeks ago he became ABA Junior National Champion following a tournament in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.
Robert’s proud mum Lyndsay told the Echo: “He had to face a very strong lad from Dagenham in the final but he came through it fine.
“It was a tough test for Robert, but in with his certificate he got a letter saying he is in with the England Talent Pathway.
“So he’ll be going to his first camp later this month and to the Institute of Sport in Sheffield next month.
“Hopefully from there he’ll be given a chance in the Three Nations at the end of May in Scotland.
“He also has a shot for the Europeans at the end of October.”
Robert, who turns 16 in September, was injured when crossing the road to play for his junior football side, but following his recovery he decided to make boxing his main focus.
He trains at Hendon Amateur Boxing Club, based at the Hendon Young People’s Project, in Church Street East, and has already set his sights on competing at the next Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, in 2020.
“It’s unbelievable how things have gone for him,” added Lyndsay.
“He went into the gym in October 2014, had his first fight the next May and now he’s had 29 of them.
“Training is all he does seven days a week and he works so hard.
“We have to say thanks to his coach Kenny Linton Jnr, his uncle James Dunn and Kenny’s younger brother Jack for all that they have done.
“They’re all amazing with him.”
Kenny said: “The past year has been an exceptional one for Robert.
“He has developed into an intelligent boxer and his achievements represent that.
“The biggest achievement and most satisfying is the junior ABA title that he has just won at 44kg.
“Because of this, he will be inducted to the England talent pathway where he will attend various training camps with high quality England coaches and potentially represent his country.”