Eight members of GB Boxing squad return to action after more than a year out
ELEVEN men and women from the GB Boxing squad will fly to Serbia today to take part in the Belgrade Winner Tournament, 22 – 28 April 2021.
The tournament, which is part of the squad’s preparations for the forthcoming European Olympic qualifier in Paris (4-8 June 2021), will mark a return to action for nine of the boxers that have not competed for more than a year as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.
For Pat McCormack the tournament will be his first competitive outing since the final of the world championship in September 2019, when he had to settle for a silver medal after the contest was halted due to a cut when his opponent was ahead on the judges’ scorecards.
The 25-year-old is the number one ranked welterweight in the world and is looking forward to stepping through the ropes after an 18 month lay-off which is the longest period he has been inactive for over a decade.
McCormack said: “It’s been eighteen months since I’ve competed and I can’t wait to get back in the ring. During the first lockdown I did have some time off. It was good to have a breather and give my mind a rest, but now it’s good to be back. We were meant to box in a few tournaments but they kept getting cancelled, so I am just glad that this one is going ahead.
“I am buzzing at the thought of it. There will definitely be some nerves because anything can happen in boxing but I’ve been training hard and have been living the life so I have got no excuses.
“It’s a big period coming up, so the plan is to go and get a gold medal in Serbia then we’ve got the qualifier in about 50 days, then it’s on to the Olympic Games and winning a medal there.”
Other boxers on the plane to Belgrade that have not competed for more than a year include Galal Yafai, Peter McGrail, Luke McCormack, Ben Whittaker, Charley Davison, Caroline Dubois and Rosie Eccles.
Three other members of the group, Lewis Richardson, Cheavon Clarke and Frazer Clarke competed at the Bocskai tournament in Hungary in February, where they won two golds (Richardson and Frazer Clarke).
The full list of boxers that will take part in the Belgrade Winner Tournament is:
|Charley Davison||Flyweight – 51kg||Lowestoft|
|Caroline Dubois||Lightweight – 60kg||London|
|Rosie Eccles||Welterweight – 69kg||Cardiff|
|Galal Yafai *||Flyweight – 52kg||Birmingham|
|Peter McGrail *||Featherweight – 57kg||Liverpool|
|Luke McCormack||Lightweight – 63kg||Washington|
|Pat McCormack||Welterweight – 69kg||Washington|
|Lewis Richardson||Middleweight – 75kg||Colchester|
|Ben Whittaker||Light-heavyweight – 81kg||Darlaston|
|Cheavon Clarke||Heavyweight – 91kg||Gravesend|
|Frazer Clarke||Super-heavyweight – 91kg+||Burton|
* Denotes a boxer that has already qualified for Tokyo 2021 by virtue of their performance at the Boxing Road to Tokyo Olympic qualifying event which was suspended after three days in March 2020. The event will resume in Paris and run from 4-8 June 2021.
All 13 boxers have been tested for Covid-19 before flying to Belgrade. Social distancing protocols will be in place throughout the tournament venues. Coaches will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) during the competition and officials will wear masks.