Seven Team England boxers will compete at this month’s AIBA World Championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
Running from September 7-21, the 13-man British squad includes four Commonwealth gold medallists from last year’s Gold Coast games including Galal Yafai, Peter McGrail, Pat McCormack and Frazer Clarke.
They are joined by Commonwealth bronze medallists Luke McCormack and Cheavon Clarke as well as Ben Whittaker.
For Whittaker, the Championships represent a further opportunity to establish himself as a medal contender at the 81kg light heavyweight division after moving up to the new weight earlier this year.
Falling short of the medals at the Gold Coast, Whittaker’s decision to move up a weight class paid off with a silver medal at this year’s European Games, and now the Birmingham-born boxer is ready to show his credentials on the world stage with next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games looming.
“We’ve got a really strong team, the European Games showed it, nearly everybody medalled and we did really well, but the World Championships is where it matters now,” said Whittaker.
“You get the Cubans and the Americans and stuff like that and it sets you ready for the Olympics next year then.
“At the World Championships I get to look at, especially being at the new weight, I get to see different boxers from different countries, see what they’re about, and then really just put that in the back of my mind, some data for when I do come to Tokyo.”
Having competed at the previous World Championships in 2017, as well as the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and 2018 Commonwealth Games, flyweight boxer Yafai knows exactly what to expect when he steps into the ring in Russia.
Yet despite a wealth of experience in the amateur ranks, Yafai isn’t overlooking the competition awaiting him at the World Championships.
“As everyone knows, the World Championships are like Olympic Games. It’s everyone in the world, they’re very hard,” said Yafai.
“It’s a very hard tournament as you know already, obviously I’m looking to go there and get a medal and I’m more than capable of doing it, and so are most of the boys in the GB team.
“There’s a lot of things I can work on, as can a lot of athletes, we can always improve, can always get better and I’ll be looking to do just that.
“I’ve just got to keep working hard and hopefully get it right in Russia and Tokyo.”