Elijah Akana, the 2022 Golden Glove National Champion in the heavyweight division, is ready to hang up the amateur gloves and step into the paid ranks. The Hawaii native has inked a multi-year managerial contract with Trifon Petrov and a promotional deal with Kings Promotions.
Born and raised on the island of Oahu, Akana is a natural athlete, excelling in various sports including football, basketball, and water sports. However, it wasn’t until the age of 26 that he found his true calling. Introduced to boxing by a friend, he was instantly hooked. “Once I put on those gloves for the first time, it felt like home,” said Akana.
Coming to the sport late meant Akana had to dig deep, training harder than his more experienced opponents. “My edge has always been my willingness to put it all on the line,” he explained. “Even going into my first National Tournament, I knew I was at a disadvantage, but that never stopped me.”
His efforts paid off, culminating in a triumphant win at the National Golden Gloves tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “Elijah’s journey is a testament to what can be achieved with relentless dedication,” said his new manager Trifon Petrov. “He defies the typical path to becoming a National Champion and serves as an inspiration for the next generation of fighters, including his own daughters.”
Marshall Kauffman of Kings Promotions was equally optimistic about Akana’s future, stating, “Elijah is a high-level National Champion, and we’re excited to have him on board. The sky’s the limit for him.”
Akana himself was thrilled to join forces with Petrov and Kauffman. “Marshall has built many world champions, and I’m honored to be promoted by him. As for Trifon, he’s got a keen eye for talent, and I’m grateful he saw something in me. With their guidance, a world championship isn’t just a possibility, it’s a promise.”
As he sets his eyes on the pro circuit, Elijah Akana is definitely one to watch. With a late start but a fast rise in the boxing world, he embodies the adage: It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. And by the looks of it, Akana is just getting started.