Boxing: England’s World Amateur Championship record

PUBLISHED: 13:00 13 April 2020

Olympic heavyweight champion Audley Harrison with David Haye (right) who won silver at the World Amateur Boxing Championships in Belfast in 2001

Olympic heavyweight champion Audley Harrison with David Haye (right) who won silver at the World Amateur Boxing Championships in Belfast in 2001

PA Archive/PA Images

As with all major international championships, English male boxers have not found it easy to secure medals at the AIBA Worlds which have been with us now for nearly 50 years.

Nicola Adams in action at the Amateur Boxing Championships at the Echo ArenaNicola Adams in action at the Amateur Boxing Championships at the Echo Arena

Having commenced appropriately in Havana, Cuba in 1974, testimony to that small nation’s phenomenal success in the roped square, they have seen England win one gold, four silver and nine bronze.

England’s Joe Joyce won another bronze in 2015 in a Great Britain vest, but it goes to show just how tough and competitive the championships can be and only the very best are able to succeed.

Fitzroy Lodge’s David Haye won our first ever medal (silver) at heavyweight in Belfast in 2001, reaching the final where he was stopped in the third round by the Cuban master, Odlanier Solis who eventually won three world titles and an Olympic gold medal.

Middleweight Carl Froch, from Nottingham, secured a bronze medal in the same championships after losing in his semi-final to the eventual world champion from Russia, Andrei Gogolev.

In 2005, welterweight Neil Perkins won bronze after losing to eventual silver medalist and Belarusian Magomed Nurutdinov, before two years later in Chicago, outstanding technical stylist Frankie Gavin landed a gold medal at lightweight.

Southpaw Gavin boxed five times on his way to golden glory, outpointing Italy’s Domenico Valentino 18-10 in the final, and is one of our finest amateur boxers in recent times.

Two more bronze medals also came our way in Chicago, from bantamweight Joe Murray and light-welterweight Bradley Saunders, making it one of our most successful Worlds to date.

The pre-Olympic year of 2011, saw some fine success for three of our would-be London 2012 Olympians.

Silvers went to Hull bantamweight Luke Campbell and Finchley’s super-heavyweight Anthony Joshua, while light-welterweight Tom Stalker “weighed in “ with a bronze medal.

Campbell and Joshua were crowned Olympic champions in London a year later while Stalker, the GB team boxing captain at London 2012, was desperately unlucky to lose 23-22 at the hands of Mongolia’s Uranchimegii Monkh-Erdene at the quarter-final stage.

It was a very hotly disputed decision which did not go down well with Stalker or the GB team.

In 2013 there was a bronze for Liverpudlian middleweight Anthony Fowler and two years later a bronze for super-heavyweight Joyce, who in the semi-finals lost to his nemesis and eventual gold medalist Tony Yoka, of France.

In 2017 another Liverpudlian, bantamweight Peter McGrail, secured a bronze, losing in his semi-final to the eventual gold medalist from Kazakhstan, Kairat Yeraliyev.

Two years later in 2019, McGrail was back again, this time at featherweight, and he took home from Russia another bronze after losing to eventual silver medalist Lazaro Alvarez, of Cuba, in his semi-final.

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A brilliant silver medal went to Sunderland-born welterweight Pat McCormack who was outpointed in the final by Russia’s Andrey Zamkovoy and light-heavyweight Benjamin Whittaker also gained a bronze after losing to eventual champion Bekzad Nurdauletov, of Kazakhstan.

England’s men remain a long way behind the leading countries such as Cuba, Russia, USA, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, down in 21st place on the all-time World Championships medal table, but the women have quite a good medal record.

To date, England women have won two golds (including one under the UK banner), six silver and five bronze (with one as UK).

The first Worlds for women boxers took place in the American city of Scranton in 2001 and England gained their first medal in 2008 in Ningbo City, China.

It came from Haringey Police BCs’ Nicola Adams, campaigning then as a bantamweight, as she won silver after losing in the final to Poland’s Karolina Michalczuk.

Two years later in 2010, Adams was back in Barbados to pick up another silver medal, this time at flyweight, after losing to China’s Ren Cancan in the final.

Adams was joined by Savannah Marshall from Hartlepool, who also gained silver in the middleweight division after losing in her final to Andrecia Wasson of the USA.

Returning to China in 2012, a bumper haul was achived in Qinhuang Dao, including a first female gold for middleweight Marshall, who outpointed Azerbaijan’s Elena Vystropova 17-15 in their final.

If that was not a feat in itself, in round two of these championships, Marshall outscored iconic American Claressa Shields 14-8, inflicting the first and only amateur loss on her rival who had an outstanding amateur record of 77 victories (19 inside the distance) and that sole loss on points.

There was another silver for Adams, who lost once again to Cancan, while bronze medals went to featherweight Lisa Whiteside and lightweight Natasha Jonas, to complete a fabulous tournament for the English women.

On to South Korea and Jeju City in 2014, where two silvers were captured by Whiteside, now campaigning down the scale at flyweight, after losing a split decision to American Marlen Esparza in their final.

Light-welterweight Sandy Ryan lost in her final to Russia’s Anastasii Beliakova, 3-0, for the other silver.

Flyweight Adams finally won gold in Astana, Kazakhstan in 2016, when competing under the UK banner, after defeating Thailand’s Peamwilai Laopeam with a split decision but middleweight Marshall had to settle for a bronze.

There were two more bronze medals in Ulan-Ude, Russia in 2019 as light-flyweight, Demie–Jade Resztan was beaten by eventual gold medalist Ekaterina Paltceva, from the host nation, while featherweight Karriss Artingstall lost to another eventual champion in Nesthy Petecio from the Philippines.

All in all, a very fine performance from our female boxers and we hope that this successful trend will continue in future years.

However, England remain a huge way behind the leading countries who have gained most medals, such as Russia, China, India, North Korea and USA, in 18th place in the all-time women’s Worlds medal table.

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