Two Welshmen Andrew Selby and Fred Evans are looking for gold medals at the upcoming AIBA World Championships in Baku. Both boxers have great expectations and real chances to get into the Olympic quotas.
Only five Welsh boxers will travel to Baku, with an average age of just over 21. But despite the low number of athletes registered and the lack of international experience the motivation is very high in the squad.
Selby had a magnificent first performance at the 2010 Bocskai Memorial Tournament in Debrecen where he stopped Russian Vislan Dalkhayev in the event's final. Selby secured a bronze at the 2010 European Championships in Moscow then exchanged his medal to a gold one at this year's continental event.
His younger team-mate, 20-year-old Fred Evans made his international debuts at the 2007 European Cadet Championships in Siofok where he triumphed over all his rivals and reached the top of the podium. He then secured his first elite gold medal at the Commonwealth Championships last year.
Fred Evans joined the cream of the welterweight boxers at the annual Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria where he outpointed Russia's AIBA World Championships silver medallist, Andrey Zamkovoy. After this gold medal, Evans' final victory at the European Men's Elite Championships was kind of expected. Ankara will actually remain forever as a special place for Wales with a lot of gold medals won this year.
19-year-old Sean McGoldrick will be in Baku in the bantamweight division. He won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games last year in Delhi when he defeated Mauritius' Olympic Games bronze medallist, Bruno Julie, but failed in the final by accepted scores.
World Combat Games bronze medallist, 20-year-old Joseph Cordina moved up a division into lightweight and therefore replaced in the team Youth Olympian and European Championships competitor, Zack Davies.
Wales' top light welterweight is 23-year-old Chris Jenkins who represented his country for the first time at the international level at the 2005 European Junior Championships in Tallinn. His best achievements are a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Championships and a valuable bronze at the World Combat Games. He will participate in his second AIBA World Championships after Chicago 2007.
The only Scottish athlete of the AIBA World Championships will be 20-year-old Josh Taylor whose best result is a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where he was only beaten in the final by England's No.1 Thomas Stalker. The young boxer demonstrated his excellent skills at the youth level two years ago and won the Belgrade Winner trophy this year.
The 2011 AIBA World Championships will miss Scotland's other top boxers such as Iain Butcher, Joe Ham, Aston Brown, Brian Peacock and Commonwealth Games winner, Callum Johnson.
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