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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 March 2006, 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
Coach bids to keep stars amateur
Frankie Gavin
Frankie Gavin won gold in the lightweight division in Melbourne
Coach Terry Edwards hopes England's Commonwealth Games boxers can resist the temptation to turn pro in the wake of their stunning success in Melbourne.

Don Broadhurst, Frankie Gavin, David Price, Stephen Smith and Jamie Cox all claimed gold medals in Australia.

And Edwards wants them to stay in the amateur ranks and go for Olympic glory in Beijing 2008 with Great Britain.

"The draw of professionalism is strong but I hope they'll stay for Beijing," Edwards said on returning to England.

Following the Manchester Games four years ago, eight of England's boxers turned professional and the Amateur Boxing Association is determined to avoid a similar scenario.

Its position has since been strengthened by a dramatic increase in government funding and Edwards believes this will persuade his young guns to remain amateur.

"We predicted that we would win eight medals before we went to Melbourne and we achieved that, we have broken the record. Eight medals is our best ever performance," he said.

We have a system in place whereby our boxers get good funding and good incentive bonuses.
England coach Terry Edwards

"Out of the Manchester team eight went professional, two left the sport and two stayed amateur. With the funding we have now we can avoid a similar situation happening again.

"I hope they will stay with us. We have a system in place whereby our boxers now get good funding and good incentive bonuses.

"They were on incentive bonuses to win in Melbourne and I believe these measures will keep them amateur until Beijing."

One member of the team who has already commited himself to staying amateur for another two years is Birmingham lightweight Gavin.

The 20-year-old's superb final victory over Mauritian Giovanni Frontin proved his great potential and he believes most of his England team-mates will follow him to the Olympics.

"I'm going to stay on until then. Everything has been sorted out with the funding and things have got a lot better," he said.

"I've been offered a new package which is great, every member of the team will stay if the funding is right."


SEE ALSO
Gavin tipped to follow king Khan
26 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
British boxers strike golden form
25 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games


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