The nine-member English squad, including top bantamweight favourite European Champion Luke Campbell, will give his best to reach the Olympic quotas and might even be able to deliver the best British performance ever at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Baku.
Campbell was crowned European Champion in Liverpool three years ago but then had to face several unexpected defeats. He worked harder and harder to finally win seven international tournaments in the past year and save his unbeaten record until the European Championships. In Turkey he was beaten by local favourite Furkan Memis Ulas. But he's still England's best hope in Baku.
The English squad has been preparing in Bugeat (France) together with their hosts, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, India and a few other countries. It was the perfect occasion for them to compare themselves with qualified opponents. Former AIBA Junior World Championships bronze medallist 22-year-old Obed Mbwakongo dropped out from the Olympic team. Therefore England won't send any light heavyweight boxer to Baku.
The English light flyweight No.1, 18-year-old Charlie Edwards from London made his debut at the European Championships in Ankara where he achieved a valuable bronze medal and defeated high ranked opponents.
Birmingham's Police boxer, talented Khalid Yafai competed at the Beijing Olympic Games and was covered in silver at the 2010 European Championships. The young fighter is involved in the national team since in 2007 and should be experienced enough to secure his participation in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
European Youth Champion and Tammer Tournament winner, 20-year-old Martin Ward went up a weight class last year and shocked his strong rivals in the lightweight division in 2011. At the European Championships, he failed to reach a medal but he has enough skills to realise a top performance in Baku.
Twice European Championships silver medallist and Commonwealth Games winner, Thomas Stalker from Liverpool was designated best UK boxer in 2010 and will therefore be a huge favourite in the light welterweight class. In the last Olympic era, Frankie Gavin was also awarded this trophy and finally won gold medal in Chicago four years ago. Stalker wishes to follow his steps in Baku.
With Due Ward and Stalker moving up a weight category, AIBA World Championships quarter-finalist Scott Cardle went back to his original welterweight division this year. He competed at the European Championships but was unlucky enough to face defending Champion Balazs Bacskai of Hungary for his first match.
Commonwealth Games silver medallist and former AIBA Cadet World Champion Anthony Ogogo shocked the home Delhi crowd when he triumphed over India's national hero, Vijender Singh. He defeated other top rivals in 2011 and will arrive in Baku considered as a massive medal contender from the English team.
Commonwealth Games winner Simon Vallily, who replaced Danny Price in the heavyweight class, will compete in his first AIBA World Championships in Baku. The team's super heavyweight boxer will be 22-year-old Anthony Joshua who made his debut at the international elite level in the European Championships where he advanced to the Top 8.
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