By Allan McGoldrick (@AMCGUK)
Great Britain won 67 medals at Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Two more than their home games in London 2012. Cementing their place in being the only nation to improve on their medal tally after a home games, a feat that proves the funding, legacy and research in UK sport is going from strength to strength.
UK Boxer Nicola Adams who successfully defended her Olympic flyweight title to become the first Olympic boxer from Britain to win back-to-back gold medals in nearly 100 years.
Joe Joyce also winning silver in the men’s heavyweight division on the last day of the games helped edge team GB to second place in the medal table ahead of China, a bronze in the 81KG catergory earlier in the tournament for Joshua Buatsi took the GB medals in boxing to three. Buatsi only being in the GB team for two years and impressively debuting with a bronze medal in the Olympics.
Six of the seven male UK fighters from London 2012 have now turned pro. GB managed five medals in London and three at Rio, although the Rio Squad this time round were a fresh squad of elite amateurs.
Should they stay amatuer or go pro? The promoters promise of big fights big nights and big cheques! can be hard to resist for many, however, as Anthony Joshua will tell you, once you turn pro you then need to find your own funding, nutritionist & physio, you become your own boss.
The amatuer boxing programme within the UK supports athletes with funding, being part of the GB squad will help you with sponsorship coaching travel to the tune of anywhere from 25k upwards and train at the World class performance centre in Sheffield.
The GB boxing squad was established in 2008 to manage the world class performance programme for boxing to prepare and train boxers for elite level competition, the fruition of the funding for boxing in the UK is paying off however retaining amatuers to not turn pro too early may be the next challenge.by