Boxing: Gavin's medal lifts hopes of golden age for Olympic hopefuls
Monday 05 November 2007
Frankie Gavin won Britain's first ever gold medal at the World Amateur Boxing Championships when he beat Italy's Domenico Valentino 18-10 in Saturday's lightweight final.
The championships started in 1974 and Saturday's event in Chicago was the 14th – and in the previous 13 British boxers had managed just three bronze medals and one silver medal.
Gavin, 22, from the Hall Green club in Birmingham, fought six times in 10 days and in the semi-final beat the current Olympic and reigning world amateur champion Alexei Tishchenko from Russia 19-10.
In addition to the gold medal, two other English boxers, Bradley Saunders and Joe Murray, won bronze at an event that was also the main qualifier for the Beijing Olympics next year. Gavin, Saunders and Murray qualified for the Olympics as did the light-heavyweight Tony Jeffries.
To put the success into context, at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and the Athens Olympics in 2004, Great Britain had a total of five boxers. There will be two more Olympic qualification events next year, one in February in Italy and the last in Greece in May, and it is likely that three or even four boxers could join the quartet from Chicago.
Last year Gavin won the Commonwealth Games lightweight title, but has often had a torrid time in international events. In Chicago he just seemed to find his range and was clearly enjoying each and every contest.
"When I won the quarter-final and knew that I had to beat the Russian to reach the final I just laughed," admitted Gavin. "I had nothing to lose and I was just full of confidence and I think that is the way the whole team feels right now."
At previous world championships British boxers averaged one win at most, but with the increase in funding, and an unwritten deal with professional promoters, there has been a growing level of confidence inside the amateur set-up during the last 12 months.
Latest in Sport
Have Liverpool found the next Luis Suarez? Reds give trial to Uruguayan wonderkid Juan Manuel Sanabria
UFC 190 Ronda Rousey vs Bethe Correia: What time does it start and where can I watch it, plus Mauricio Rua vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Football kits 2015/16: The good, the bad and the downright worst new shirts from around the world for next season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho
- 1 National Orgasm Day: Six reasons (plus one bogus one) why they're good for us
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
- 4 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 5 Doctor Who: Christopher Eccleston says why he left the BBC series after just one series
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...
£15500 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A position has become available...
£60000 - £120000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This conference call startup i...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital and print design a...