Jeffries assured of boxing medal

Tony Jeffries consigned the rancour and recrimination which followed Frankie Gavin's withdrawal to distant memory tonight by guaranteeing Great Britain at least two Olympic boxing medals for the first time in 36 years.

Jeffries produced a display of power and precision to overwhelm Hungary's Imre Szello 10-2 and set up a potentially explosive semi-final on Friday night against Irish light-heavyweight rival Kenneth Egan.



His victory marked an extraordinary revival for the Sunderland 23-year-old, who fell out of favour after failing to medal at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and overcame a succession of injuries to get back to the top.



Jeffries said: "It's a dream come true. It's everything I've trained for over the last two years. I've dedicated so much of my life to getting a medal. Just to get here at all was unbelievable. All those cold morning runs have paid off now."



Jeffries had scraped through his first Beijing bout on the countback system but looked a cut above his opponent tonight as he increased his lead throughout and forced Szello to take a standing count from a big right in the last.



Next up he faces Egan, who looked superb as he quickly followed light-flyweight Paddy Barnes in guaranteeing Ireland's first two medals of the Games when he whitewashed Brazil's Washington Silva 8-0.



Jeffries and Egan have plenty of history having clashed at the EU Championships in Poland in June, with Egan leading 14-7 when Jeffries was withdrawn before the final round with a cut eye.



Egan said then: "Jeffries said to me after the fight that I was a lot better than he thought I was, which was cheeky thing to say. But it's something I'll remember, believe me."



Jeffries and Egan will do battle on Friday night shortly before super-heavyweight David Price features in the semi-finals. Middleweight James Degale could make it a trio of British medallists if he beats Kazakh Bakhiytar Artayev on Wednesday.



The belated success has come as a welcome relief to British head coach Terry Edwards, who was criticised in the wake of the Gavin debacle and early defeats for the likes of Joe Murray and Bradley Saunders.



The qualification of eight boxers was an extraordinary feat in itself and in taking at least two fighters to the podium Edwards has matched most of the realistic pre-Games expectations for his team.



Edwards said: "There was a lot of talk but the team never felt down. We stuck together and this is a great success, not only for Beijing but for London, with so many of these guys intending to stay around for 2012."



Jeffries is one of those who has expressed little desire to turn professional, but he hopes his Olympic success will bring an end to his pre-Games days when he owned and ran a burger stall in Sunderland to help make ends meet.



"Since seeing Audley Harrison winning the Olympics I've never been that interested [in turning professional]," added Jeffries. "Hopefully my funding will increase now for the 2012 Olympics and I won't have to do that again.



"I've had my ups and downs and a couple of years ago I was on a bit of a down. But my family and girlfriend and all of Sunderland have been brilliant and I really thank them all.



"Everybody in this country would love to go to the Olympics and I've done that. I'm very proud to be British and to win a medal and help Great Britain on the medal table, it's the proudest moment of my life."





PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam