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Page last updated at 09:59 GMT, Monday, 28 July 2008 10:59 UK

Gavin confident of Olympic glory

By Ben Dirs

Frankie Gavin
Gavin is Britain's only ever amateur world champion

Lightweight Frankie Gavin says he can go one better than Amir Khan and strike gold at the Beijing Olympics.

Khan won a silver in Athens four years ago while Birmingham's Gavin, 23, became Britain's first amateur world champion in Chicago last year.

"There's no reason why there can't be a gold in Beijing, I should win the Olympics," Gavin told BBC Sport.

"Everyone says the worlds are harder than the Olympics and now I've won the worlds, it shows me the level I'm at."

Khan, now the Commonwealth lightweight champion, was Britain's only boxing representative in 2004, while Gavin is part of an eight-man team to have qualified for Beijing.

And Gavin agrees with head coach Terry Edwards that Britain could be challenging Cuba as amateur boxing's super-power when London stages the Oympics in 2012.

I put the improvement down to hard work, preparation and the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield

Frankie Gavin

"Amir showed us the way. I was training with him [before the 2004 Olympics] and I thought, 'I can do it'," said Gavin.

"All of us boxers have got arms and legs and if you put in the hard work there's a good chance that you'll make it.

"Everyone just knows the hard work is starting to pay off now. People want to avoid us in championship draws and we're finally getting the respect we deserve.

"I put it down to hard work, preparation and the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

"Now if we have a niggle or an injury, someone's there to treat us and there's better nutritional advice. The whole system's just got better.

"As long as we keep some of the boxers amateur, we've got a great development squad behind the podium team and they'll stay in training and do what we've done for the last four years.

"Plus, even more money will be put in because it's in London, so why can't we be challenging Cuba in 2012?"

Gavin believes Russia's Alexey Tischenko, a reigning Olympic champion at featherweight and a former world and European champion, will be his biggest rival in Beijing, and that Cuba's Yordenis Ugas will also pose a threat.

see also
Team GB for Beijing
29 Nov 07 |  Team GB
Price looking for podium finish
17 Apr 08 |  Boxing
Price clinches place in Beijing
11 Apr 08 |  Boxing
GB boxers secure Beijing places
01 Mar 08 |  Olympics
Britain's Beijing medal hopefuls
07 Aug 07 |  Sport Homepage
Amateur boxing explained
01 Mar 06 |  Boxing
Boxing jargon guide
13 Dec 05 |  Get Involved

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