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Page last updated at 14:41 GMT, Friday, 13 August 2010 15:41 UK

Tom Stalker and Callum Smith ready for Delhi games

Tom Stalker
Delhi-bound Tom Stalker is delighted with his recent success in the ring

Commonwealth Games-bound Tom Stalker has paid tribute to the influence Great Britain boxing coach Rob McCracken is having on his career.

The 26-year-old lightweight travels to Delhi in form, having won silver at the European Championships in June.

"Rob is fair and he's hands on. He's on the pads and if you're on the bag he's there watching you," Stalker told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"You can't hide, he's a great coach. Rob has brought me on a lot."

In addition to his commitments with Great Britain, McCracken guides the professional career of former WBC World Champion Carl Froch.

Froch is currently based in Sheffield, training alongside Stalker and his team-mates on the Great Britain Podium Squad and Stalker says Froch's presence has given everyone a lift.

"Having Carl Froch training and seeing I'm on the pads and blocking shots, it's great for me," said lightweight Stalker.

Huyton-based Stalker will be joined in India by his friend from Liverpool, Callum Smith.

Stalker believes having Smith around can help him: "I'm over the moon because for the last year and a half I've been the only scouser on the team.

"To have him on the team is brilliant for me and for him," added Stalker.

Welterweight Smith becomes the third brother in his family to fight at a Commonwealth Games.

Eldest Paul won silver in 2002, with Stephen taking gold in 2006.

But Callum, 20, says he is comfortable with the inevitable expectation that surrounds him: "Talk about pressure?" he joked.

"I've always said I'm my own fighter and I'm not my brothers.

"I know I'm more than capable of getting a gold so I won't be happy with anything less," said Smith.



see also
Euro stars in England boxing team
11 Aug 10 |  Boxing


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