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Page last updated at 12:28 GMT, Sunday, 2 March 2008

British boxers 'to overtake Cuba'

Terry Edwards
Edwards has high hopes for his boxers

Great Britain will overtake Cuba as amateur boxing's leading nation by the London 2012 Olympics, according to the team's head coach Terry Edwards.

Team GB are taking at least seven boxers to this year's Beijing Olympics, and that number could rise to 11.

"I truly believe that by the London Olympics we will be the new Cuba of amateur boxing if we keep the current structure in place," said Edwards.

"We are seeing a huge change in the way we are being regarded," he claimed.

"Until recently they (the traditional powerhouses) saw us as pushovers. Now they are queuing up to learn our secrets."

Khalid Yafai, Billy Joe Saunders and James Degale negotiated the penultimate qualifying tournament in Pescara to book their Beijing spots.


They join Frankie Gavin, Joe Murray, Bradley Saunders and Tony Jeffries with the prospect of the team being boosted further after the final qualifier in Athens next month.

Edwards has instigated a tough stance in his role and he said: "There were a lot of people who didn't believe in me and said what I was doing was wrong and couldn't work.

"But just look at the results now. I think we've proved that it can."

Amateur Boxing Association chairman and chairman of selectors Keith Walters added: "We can go to the Beijing Olympics and win three gold medals. "Two years ago, if I'd even said we would get three qualified for Beijing you would probably have locked me up."

see also
GB boxers secure Beijing places
01 Mar 08 |  Olympics
Woodhall explains ABA departure
04 Aug 05 |  Boxing
Saunders maintains Beijing push
26 Feb 08 |  Boxing
Gavin tipped to follow king Khan
26 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games

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