A whole new Worlds – Boxing News


The Olympics may be over. But the Worlds are simply starting. John Dennen previews the championships in Belgrade

THE Olympics are over, however the massive tournaments carry on coming. The AIBA males’s World championships happen on the Stark Arena in Belgrade, Serbia, scheduled to start on October 24 and end on November 6.

AIBA have added extra weight classes into this match, growing the variety of divisions to 13 and altering a few of the precise weights from the Olympic classes. This does alter the panorama of worldwide boxing, diverging from the Olympic Games at a time when AIBA remains to be suspended by the International Olympic Committee. This match marks one other inflection level within the adjustments which were made to the beginner sport. For this occasion, for the primary time, main prizemoney is being made obtainable to medal winners, $100,000 for a gold, $50,000 for silver and $25,000 for bronze. The ruling that AIBA introduced in permitting skilled boxers to return to those tournaments additionally alters the complexion of this occasion, with Olympians who’re already invested of their professional careers getting into, like Uzbekistan’s Shakhram Giyazov, Armenia’s Hovhannes Bachkov and loads of others.

The members of Britain’s all-star Olympic crew nevertheless are both being rested after the Tokyo Games or contemplating choices in skilled boxing. It creates a chance for the following technology of GB expertise to step ahead onto the large stage.

GB is sending a squad of 9: Kiaran MacDonald at 51kgs, Niall Farrell at 57kgs, Harvey Lambert at 67kgs, Harris Akbar at 71kgs, Lewis Richardson at 75kgs, George Crotty at 80kgs, Conner Tudsbury at 86kgs, Lewis Williams at 92kgs and Delicious Orie at 92&kgs.

GB Boxing’s efficiency director, Rob McCracken mentioned, “The World championships is an incredibly tough assignment, so this is an opportunity for a new group of boxers to test themselves at the very highest level. There is a lot of talent in this team, however [due to the restrictions imposed by Covid-19] they have had very little competition over the past 18 months. Taking part in this tournament will be a great learning experience for the boxers and will enable myself and the coaches to get a clear idea of where we are and what we need to do to develop this group.”

Niall Farrell is the one member of this crew who’s been to the Worlds earlier than; he competed on the occasion in Hamburg in 2017. He’s additionally the one one with a significant medal successful a flyweight silver on the 2017 European championship. A high quality boxer himself, 57kgs remains to be going to be a extremely aggressive division, with formidable World champion Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov of Uzbekistan and Javier Ibanez, a Cuban boxing for Bulgaria, anticipating to make an look.

“I can’t wait for it. It’s been a long time coming,” Farrell advised Boxing News. “There’s a very good buzz within the fitness center. Everyone’s wanting ahead to it.

“Our team that’s going out there is a hungry team, hungry for success.”

He added, “We’re all buzzing [about the prizemoney] but anyone who knows boxing knows how hard it is to medal at the Worlds so everyone’s talking about it but everyone’s going to take it one fight at a time.”

Middleweight Lewis Richardson was chosen for Britain’s Olympic squad. He entered the European Qualification Event earlier this 12 months however met eventual Olympic silver medallist Oleksandr Khyzhniak within the preliminary phases, earlier than he might win a spot on the Tokyo Games. A technical southpaw Richardson nonetheless acquitted himself effectively, displaying the rugged facet of his boxing as his stood as much as the Ukrainian’s relentless energy. “It was disappointing to miss out on Tokyo,” he mentioned, “but I’m now fully focused on reaching Paris 2024. This will be my first experience of a World championships but I am in good form and feel that I am improving all the time so am looking forward to it.”

George Crotty has carried out effectively within the smaller tournaments on the European circuit and it will likely be fascinating to see his expertise and expertise put to make use of in a significant competitors. Don’t write him off. Conner Tudsbury is a light-weight-heavy too however he will get to maneuver as much as 86kgs for this.

Talented Yorkshireman Harris Akbar has laboured within the shadow of Pat McCormack, the Olympic silver medallist and one in all GB’s excellent boxers over the previous few years. Now he will get an opportunity to shine. Akbar was a tall welterweight, transferring as much as the new 71kgs division may assist him too.

There is a 67kgs division right here and that creates room for Harvey Lambert, the nationwide Elite champion who’s a new entrant on the GB squad however has a mode suited to worldwide boxing. “I do express myself when I’m in the ring,” he says. “I simply really feel actual proud to be a part of this crew and be on this new wave actually.

“I want to be tested against the best and see where I’m at.”

Lewis Williams, a tall heavyweight, will get a further kilo on this match, boxing at 92kgs. He’s sparred Anthony Joshua and Frazer Clarke commonly however remains to be younger himself and has to achieve expertise at this world degree.

At tremendous-heavyweight Delicious Orie steps ahead. He has carried out what he wanted to do at home degree, successful the Elite championships and Haringey Box Cup in model. But a World championships catapults him in on the highest class. It will likely be thrilling to see how he fares in a division that has robust brawlers like Ukraine’s Tsotne Rogava, rising German Nelvie Tiafack and loads of others.

Flyweight Kiaran MacDonald is following within the footsteps of Galal Yafai, GB’s good Olympic gold medallist. He is relishing his probability to field for Britain in Belgrade. “This is going to be their first big test on their first big stage for a lot of fighters, not just the younger ones,” he tells Boxing News. “I’m one of many extra skilled fighters and I haven’t competed in a World championships.

“It’s a new look squad, it’s got a lot of new faces in there, younger fighters. I’m one of the lucky ones who’s had good experience now with the WSB and things like that. So I’m looking to use my experience really, and try and help the team out as well.”

“We’ve been stuck behind top level fighters. [With Galal] I’ve been sparring with him for five or six years now. I’ve seen him grow and obviously he’s helped me develop a lot. He’s basically turned us from a boy into a man with the sparring. We’ve all seen him fight. We’ve all seen how rough and active he is,” he added. “It’s brought me on leaps and bounds.”

MacDonald was taken out to Tokyo to spar with Yafai for his Olympic marketing campaign. He was clearly a key assist. “[Galal] would probably tell you himself, the rounds that we done were priceless for him and priceless for me. Some of the styles he was boxing at the Olympics were pretty similar to myself, like the Cuban [Yosbany Veitía], the Kazakh [Saken Bibossinov who’s expected to be at this tournament], they’re pretty similar styles to what I’ve got. Obviously he’d already competed against the Cuban but he’d been sparring that style for months and months leading up to it,” Kiaran mentioned. “[I’m] a flashy counter puncher. I adapt very easily, that’s one of my best assets [but] I sit in the pocket and can punch very hard when I need to.”

MacDonald is definitely the final particular person to have defeated Sunny Edwards, an excellent IBF belt-holder now. Kiaran beat him within the ultimate of the ABA championships in 2016. “That’ll be haunting him deep down inside,” the person from Sunderland joked. “When we flip skilled that might be the large cash battle. It’s actually distinctive what he’s carried out to be sincere. To be a world champion at that age he’s carried out very well.

“That year in the ABAs I boxed five times, I was competing against Joe Maphosa, who was already on the Great Britain squad, he’d done WSB and that, and that was one of my first fights in the region. I was up against it really. But I went into them championships with ‘I had nothing to lose,’ that’s the sort of mindset I took in.”

Professional boxing for him can wait. His time in Tokyo has impressed MacDonald on his personal Olympic quest. “It was good getting the boys ready for the Games, being in and around all the other sports and all the other athletes who were competing. So it just gives you a little insight, it makes you have a bit of want for the Olympics. Obviously we’ve had all the professional promoters knocking on the door as well. It keeps you grounded a bit. You realise what your dream actually is. Anybody can sort of turn professional but not everyone can compete at an Olympic Games,” he mentioned. “You’ve received to have a look at the large image actually. I’m not 100% sure what’s going to occur, I’m taking it 12 months by 12 months and hoping to enhance, progress and clearly decide up main medals alongside the best way.

“Half the fighters at the Olympics, take nothing away from them, I believe I’m better than them. I was just very unfortunate to be stuck behind Galal who’s obviously been to the Rio Games, and obviously we all know how good he is. I feel like I was in a very unfortunate position. I feel like if it was any other nation I would probably have been at the Games. I’m good enough to compete with them all who were at the Games. I was thinking I’m good enough to be here but you’ve got to bide your time,” he continued. “I’ve simply had to make use of it to mature myself mentally in addition to bodily. You can’t at all times get one of the best in life so typically you’ve received to chew the bullet and discover one of the best within the scenario and attempt to overcome it.

“I really feel prefer it actually introduced us on limitless quantities. I might say me from the ABA ultimate to me now is sort of a utterly totally different fighter. I’m simply much more polished, extra tidy and rather a lot simpler on the attention.

“I’m really looking forward to the next couple of years,” he concluded. “We’ll see where I’m at really, I’ll test myself against the best.”

Ireland will ship a crew to the Worlds: Ricky Nesbitt at 48kgs, Sean Mari at 51kgs, Adam Hession at 57kgs, JP McHale at 60kgs, Brandon McCarthy at 63.5kgs, Eugene McKeever at 67kgs and Kelyn Cassidy at 80kgs.

Cuban quartet of Olympic champions, Andy Cruz, Roniel Iglesias, Arlen López and Julio La Cruz are anticipated to field in Belgrade. They will likely be merely unmissable.

But with the corruption scandals which have plagued AIBA, most important for the way forward for beginner and Olympic boxing is that there’s truthful judging in Serbia. It’s a new-look match, we simply want it to not have the identical previous issues.

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