The GB Championships – two days of top class boxing- here at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, but a short hop to the scene of the 2012 Olympic Games , had an unsatisfactory ending today insofar as GB boxer, Khalid Yafai was concerned.
Yafai had earlier in the year looked a near certainty for a place in the GB team but in recent months the emergence of Andrew Selby from Barry Town, has changed all that. Selby won gold at the European championships and later silver at the World championships in Baku.
Yafai did also qualify for a place in London 2012,having gained bronze in Azerbaijan but of course GB cannot field two boxers at the same weight. The British Amateur Boxing Association organised a ‘best of three contests’ “box-off”. On Friday, Selby won the first contest 26-12 in front of a packed crowd on the first day of the Championships.
Much to the disappointment of the gathered throng, Saturday’s second contest did not take place. Yafai, who had also sustained an arm injury on Friday failed to make the weight.
“We did train this morning and had two attempts but weren’t in time for the scales, which closed at 0930, so I missed out by 300g” , he told BBC Sport.
Under the terms of the box-off, which was sanctioned by the International Governing Body, AIBA, Selby wins the box-off 2-0. A very unsatisfactory outcome.
The BABA’s Performance Director, Rob McCracken, said: “It is very unfortunate that the contest has had to be settled in this way because they are two great boxers and both deserved to go the Olympics. It is a great achievement by Andrew, who has boxed superbly this year, but at the same time I am very disappointed for Khalid.”
As well as the GB Boxing team, the English,Scottish and Welsh ABA’s were also represented at these championships whilst there were also guest appearances in the womens’ events from Germany’s Andrea Strohmaier and the Geesala, County Mayo 52kg boxer, Katie Rowland. The young Mayo woman will have benefited considerably from her contest against the reigning ABAE titleholder, and member of the GB Olympic podium squad, Nina Smith. The Chadwell St Mary’s boxer won 19-9 but even in defeat it is noticeable that Rowlandimproving as the months go by.Smith is a full time member of the ABAE squad in Sheffield – Rowland is a student in Mayo.
Great Britain has qualified five boxers for the London 2012 Olympics: Tom Stalker, Anthony Joshua, Luke Campbell, Fred Evans and Andrew Selby. The second qualifying event for the men is in April 2012 in Turkey . The women’s only qualifying event is in China in May 2012.
GB Boxing had seven winners from a possible nine in the finals of the GB Championships. .
Results on Finals Day at York Hall, Bethnal Green (Winners in Bold)
52kg Nina Smith (GB) v Katie Rowland (Ireland) 19:9
49kg Ben Baker (Wales) v Charlie Edwards (GB) RSC3
56kg Joe Ham (Scotland) v Sean McGoldrick (Wales) 25:14
64kg Louis Adolphe (England) v Josh Taylor (Scotland) (9:9 countback, 3:2 judges decision)
69kg Keiran Smith (Scotland) v Antony Fowler (GB) 15:9
75kg Savannah Marshall (GB) v Andrea Strohmaier (Germany) 20:3
60kg Joe Cordina (Wales) v Sam Maxwell (England) 16:14
91kg Ben Ilyemi (England) v Warren Baister (GB) 23:9
60kg Amanda Coulson (England) v Chantelle Cameron (GB) 22:17
91kg+ Frazer Clarke (GB) v Joe Joyce (England) RSCI2
81kg James Cunningham (Scotland) v Lawrence Osueke (GB) 26:6
75kg Tommy Philbin (Scotland) v Callum Smith (GB) 13:7