Ogogo ready for boxing qualifiers

Anthony Ogogo finished fourth in Big Brother and claimed Commonwealth Games silver two years ago but knows his hopes of another upgrade at London 2012 will soon be decided.

Eurosport

Middleweight Ogogo is one of seven British boxers named for the European Olympic qualifying event, which starts this weekend in Trabzon.

And he needs to make the final to join the five team-mates who secured their London 2012 spots at last year's World Championships in Baku.

Ogogo warmed up with gold in a recent international tournament in the Czech Republic where, more importantly, his troublesome shoulder injury stood up to punishment, a problem he blames for his last 16 exit at last year's Worlds.

"It's nice to be able to concentrate on boxing and not worry about my shoulder, it's the first time in a year," he said.

"I was really happy with how it went in the Czech Republic. I beat Aleksandar Drenovak, who has already qualified for the Olympics, quite convincingly.

"It showed I'm better than someone who is already there, which is really good for confidence, although it's also frustrating in a way.

"However, after a long lay-off it was good to prove what I can do.

"It's going to be tough, qualifying for the Games is probably going to be harder than winning a medal if I do get there."

Meanwhile, light flyweight Charlie Edwards needs to make the semi-finals in Turkey while lightweight Josh Taylor, who won a silver medal at the recent Feliks Stamm tournament in Poland, has to progress to the final or lose in the semi-final to the eventual winner.

However, he will have two British rivals with Sam Maxwell - surprisingly selected ahead of GB podium squad members Martin Ward and Iain Weaver - and Joe Cordina also challenging.

Callum Smith has been chosen as light heavyweight and will also be targeting the semi-finals as a minimum requirement, while heavyweight Warren Baister knows only a victory will book his Olympic slot.

"There were some very tough calls to make in reaching a final decision at a couple of weights but in the end we have settled on those boxers whom we feel have the best chance of meeting the qualifying standard in what will be a very tough assignment," said British Boxing performance director Rob McCracken.

"We have a lot of talent at lightweight and Josh and Joe both deserve their opportunities after some good recent performances.

"Sam joined the squad recently, after his victory in the GB Championships, and has performed tremendously in training and competition where he has acclimatised very easily to the demands of international boxing.

"He recently won a tournament, where he boxed superbly and beat some very good quality opponents, and merits the opportunity to go to the qualifier."

Great Britain have already qualified five boxers in the ten men's weight categories - flyweight Andrew Selby, bantamweight Luke Campbell, light welterweight Tom Stalker, welterweight Fred Evans and super heavyweight Anthony Joshua

They took an eight strong squad to Beijing - seven more than four years before when Amir Khan was the sole British boxer in Athens - and have high hopes of at least matching that number on home soil and bettering the one gold and two bronzes they claimed in China.

Qualification for the three women's boxing weights will be decided at next month's World Championships in Qinhuangdao, although Team GB has one host nation place available in a worst case scenario.

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