THIRTEEN men from the GB Boxing squad have been selected to compete at the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia (7-21 September 2019).
The team includes eight boxers that won a medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and is made-up of eight from England, two from Scotland and two from Wales.
Eight of the group competed at the 2017 World Championships in Hamburg when Liverpool’s Peter McGrail was Great Britain’s sole medallist, taking bronze at bantamweight. It came after he won European Championship gold in the same year and was followed by Commonwealth Games gold in April 2018 and bronze at the European Games in June 2019.
McGrail said: “I had a few fights at the European Games and though I was disappointed not to win gold, I was happy with my performances and felt I boxed well. I have got a good track record in major tournaments and have beaten most of the other top boxers at my weight so I am going into this feeling confident.
“I am improving all the time and, compared to the last World Championships, I have two years more experience and two years more strength so I am feeling good and looking forward to it.”
The other English boxers in the team with previous World Championship experience include Galal Yafai, twin brothers, Pat and Luke McCormack, Ben Whittaker and Cheavon Clarke. The other two Englishmen in the line-up are rookie middleweight, Mark Dickinson, and experienced super-heavyweight, Frazer Clarke.
One of the Scottish contingent Sean Lazzerini also competed at the 2017 event. They will be joined in Russia by countryman Scott Forrest.
The welsh duo, Sammy Lee and Micky McDonagh, will be making their debuts at the World Championships, however the pair have experienced success on the big stage, when they won gold and bronze respectively at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Australia.
For super-heavyweight, Frazer Clarke, this will be a long awaited debut at the World Championships. The 27 year-old has been part of the GB Boxing squad for nearly 10 years but has never competed at the Worlds having missed out on selection in the past to Anthony Joshua and Joe Joyce.
Clarke did qualify for the 2017 event by winning a silver medal at that year’s European Championships but was forced to withdraw as he required surgery on a badly torn hamstring.
Clarke said: “Getting the opportunity to go the World Championships has been a long time coming and I am pleased to finally be going. Even though it is not an Olympic qualifier it is still an important tournament and a really good chance to compete against the best and take a look at the people we are going to be boxing against in the qualifiers next year.
“It is less than a year to go now until Tokyo so I have been really been putting the work in in the gym and am looking forward to getting out there and boxing again.”
The boxers from Great Britain will head to Russia buoyed by a strong performance in their last competitive outing in June 2019 at the European Games in Minsk when Team GB finished top of the boxing medal.
Six of this group won a medal at that event including gold for Pat McCormack, silver for Ben Whittaker and bronzes for Galal Yafai, Peter McGrail, Luke McCormack and Cheavon Clarke.
GB Boxing’s Performance Director, Rob McCracken, said: “The men did very well at the European Games however the World Championships is another level up and probably the toughest assignment in the boxing calendar.
“With just under a year to go until the 2020 Games this will be a really good test for the boxers and give us a clear indication of how they are progressing and what they need to work on as we look towards the start of the Olympic qualifying campaign next year.”
The 2019 World Championships will be the first to feature eight men’s weights and will mirror those that will be used at Tokyo 2020. There is no light-flyweight (49kg) category and bantamweight (56kg) and lightweight (60kg) have been replaced by the introduction of a featherweight (57kg) category. The former light-welterweight category (64kg) has been re-classified as lightweight (63kg). The full line-up of boxers from the GB Boxing squad is:
|Aqeel Ahmed||Flyweight – 52kg||Scotland||Keir Hardie ABC, Motherwell|
|Galal Yafai||Flyweight – 52kg||England||Birmingham Police ABC|
|Peter McGrail||Featherweight – 57kg||England||Everton Red Triangle, Liverpool|
|Luke McCormack||Lightweight – 63kg||England||Birtley ABC, Tyne & Wear|
|Mickey McDonagh||Lightweight – 63kg||Wales||Merlin’s Bridge ABC, Pembroke|
|Pat McCormack||Welterweight – 69kg||England||Birtley ABC, Tyne & Wear|
|Mark Dickinson||Middleweight – 75kg||England||Birtley ABC, Tyne & Wear|
|Sean Lazzerini||Middleweight – 75kg||Scotland||Bellahouston ABC, Glasgow|
|Sammy Lee||Light-heavyweight – 81kg||Wales||Premier ABC, Swansea|
|Ben Whittaker||Light-heavyweight – 81kg||England||Firewalker Olympic Boxing Club, Darlaston|
|Cheavon Clarke||Heavyweight – 91kg||England||Gravesham ABC, Gravesend|
|Scott Forrest||Heavyweight – 91kg||Scotland||Lochend ABC, Edinburgh|
|Frazer Clarke||Super-heavyweight – 91kg+||England||Burton ABC, Burton|
Individual profiles of the boxers from the GB Boxing squad are available at http://www.gbboxing.org.uk/gb-boxing-squad/podium-squad/.
Results and updates on the progress of the team at the World Championships will be posted at www.gbboxing.org.uk and on twitter at @gbboxing once the tournament begins on 7 September 2019.
Results and fixtures
Session 1 Ring B
75kg – Mark Dickinson ENG v Arman Darchinyan ARM – Mark LOST via unanimous decision
75kg – Sean Lazzerini SCO v Tanglatihan Touhetaerbieke CHN – Sean LOST via unanimous decision
Session 2 Ring A
81kg – Sammy Lee WAL v Odai Alhindawi JOR – Sammy WON via unanimous decision
Session 2 Ring A
63kg – Mickey McDonagh WAL v Thomas Blumenfeld CAN – Mickey LOST via split decision (4:0)
63kg – Luke McCormack ENG v Francesco Iozia ITA – Luke WON via walkover
Session 6 Ring A
52kg – Galal Yafai ENG v Alex Winwood AUS – Galal WON via unanimous decision
63kg – Luke McCormack ENG v Jonathan Miniel Murillo PAN – Luke WON via unanimous decision
Session 8 – afternoon
57kg – Peter McGrail ENG v Yechan Lee KOR – Peter WON via unanimous decision
91kg – Cheavon Clarke ENG v Victor Schelstraete BEL – Cheavon WON via unanimous decision
Session 9 – evening
81kg – Sammy Lee WAL v Georgii Kushitasvili RUS – Sammy LOST via split decision (4:1)
81kg – Ben Whittaker ENG v Ehsan Rouzbahani IRI –Ben WON via split decision (3:2)
91kg – Scott Forrest SCO v Sanjeet Sanjeet IND – Scott LOST via split decision (4:1)
Session 10 – afternoon
69kg – Pat McCormack ENG v Aidan Walsh IRL – Pat WON via split decision (3:2)
Session 11 – evening
91+kg – Frazer Clarke ENG v Vladan Babic SRB – Frazer WON via unanimous decision
52kg – Galal Yafai ENG v Yosvany Veitia Soto CUB – Galal WON via unanimous decision
63kg – Luke McCormack ENG v Leonel de los Santos DOM – Luke LOST via a split decision (3:2)
91kg – Cheavon Clarke ENG v Henrik Sargsyan ARM – Cheavon WON via a split decision (3:1)
Session 13 – evening
57kg – Peter McGrail ENG v Tayfur Aliyev AZE – Peter WON via a unanimous decision
69kg – Pat McCormack ENG v Lasha Guruli GEO – Pat WON via a unanimous decision
81kg – Ben Whittaker ENG v Nuyagdy Nuryadyev TKM – Ben WON via a unanimous decision
91+kg – Frazer Clarke ENG v Mourad Aliev FRA – Frazer WON via a splt decision (4:1)
52kg – Galal Yafai ENG v Billal Bennema FRA – Galal LOST via unanimous decision
91kg – Cheavon Clarke ENG v Muslim Gadzhimagomedov RUS – Cheavon LOST via unanimous decision
Session 15 – evening
57kg – Peter McGrail ENG v Kavinder Bisht Singh IND – Peter WON via unanimous decision
69kg – Pat McCormack ENG v Sewarets Okanzawa JPN – Pat WON via split decision (3:2)
81kg – Ben Whittaker ENG v Jerome Joseph-Pampellone NZL– Ben WON via split decision (4:1)
91+kg – Frazer Clarke ENG v Maxim Babanin RUS – Frazer LOST via split decision (3:2)*Original decision was a 3:2 win but was overturned by appeal
Session 16 – evening (one ring)
57kg – Peter McGrail ENG v Lazaro Alvarez Estrada CUB – approx. 15:00 UK
69kg – Pat McCormack ENG v Bobo-Usmon Baturov UZB – approx. 15:45 UK
81kg – Ben Whittaker ENG v Dilshodbek Ruzmetov UZB – approx. 16:00 UK