Nicola Adams headlines as Britain goes big in the Rio ring
With the Olympics now merely days away, athletes will be cramming in final preparations, and for Britain’s boxing squadron, there’s a lot to live up to in Brazil.
Four years ago in London, the hosts came top of the pile as the only nation to grab three gold medals, while also landing a silver and a bronze to boot.
Nicola Adams was one of those gold medallists – alongside Anthony Joshua and Luke Campbell – and the 33-year-old is ready to go again four years down the line.
The Yorkshire boxer is supported by Savannah Marshall as the team’s two women competitors, accompanied by a bumper haul of male fighters.
Impressively, the Brits will have a male contender in every weight category in Rio – up from seven in London – and though some of the squad lacks the experience which came with the 2012 fighters, it boasts more in potential.
Only two of the team – Adams and Marshall – can count upon prior Olympic experience, highlighting the raw talent Britain are taking to Brazil this summer.
Light flyweight entry Galal Yafai certainly has plenty of pedigree.
The 23-year-old’s older brother Khalid is the current British, IBF and WBA Inter-Continental super-flyweight champion, while his other brother Gamal is the Commonwealth super-bantamweight holder.
For Adams too, there is plenty on the line, though the 33-year-old shows no sign of letting up ahead of what may be her final tournament under the banner of the five famous rings.
The 2012 Flyweight champion finally became World Amateur Champion this year after eight years of trying and is set to become the first British boxer since Harry Mallin in 1924 to retain their Olympic crown.
Middleweight contender Anthony Fowler is sure to have plenty of support from Merseyside, with the Toxteth fighter the cousin of former Liverpool hero Robbie.
Fowler was the ninth man to land a spot in the team, and has delayed the chance to go professional in order to land a coveted Olympic medal, after being inspired by Amir Khan in 2004.
It’s a young team, but Britain’s charges are spearheaded with experience, and there’s plenty of reason to fancy the British contingent for more boxing success this summer.
*Ladbrokes is not an official sponsor of the Olympics and is in no way affiliated with any of the competing athletes, events or competitions being held in Rio de Janeiro this summer*.