Davison targeting Paris 2024 medal after Tokyo heartbreak

Since the age of eight, Charley Davison has dreamed of going to the Olympics, last summer in the delayed 2020 Games she finally achieved her goal, now she looks at her new goal: medalling in Paris 2024.

After finishing second in the qualifying event to make the Olympics, Davison eased past Moroccan Radab Cheddar in the Round of 32, before her Olympic dream came to an abrupt end when losing to Chang Yuan of China in the Round of 16. 

Now 28, Davison has been to not just an Olympics but a European Championships, and ahead of her first World Championships in Turkey starting on Sunday, she believes experience is only going to help her get better. 

She said: “Because I have now actually been to an Olympics, I feel that experience is going to help me massively. 

“That was my first major event for Great Britain, and it was such a big one, going from the European Championships and then onto the Olympics. 

“It all went so quickly because I only had a short spell on the team and now I feel I can slow down a bit and I can enjoy it, and the World Championships has come at a brilliant time. 

“What better place can you go than Turkey for a World Championships, I think it’s a brilliant country!” 

Tokyo took a lot out of Davison emotionally, but after some time away from the sport, she picked herself up again and got back into training and is now ready to go to Turkey in search of a World Championships medal.

The flyweight said: “I had some downtime to get my head around Tokyo, it took a lot to get over the result, but with family around me and good support, I started training again at home and got the weight down. 

“I spoke to Rob McCracken (Performance Director of GB Boxing) on the phone and he asked what do you want to do, do you want to come back? 

“And I thought, I need a medal! 

“I was training so hard, I didn’t want to leave on that sort of note, so I thought of course I do, I’ve still got the potential there, and I’m so glad I did, because I’m in really good shape, I’m really enjoying this sport again and we’re off to the World Championships soon.” 

Being a mother of three and chasing an Olympic medal is certainly not for the faint-hearted, but for Davison, whose children are ten, eight and six years old it seems to be the perfect combination. 

“It (sport) plays a massive part in my life. If I’m ever at home, and the kids are stressing me out or I’m stressed, because we all get stressed, then I go out for a run and it really clears my mind,” she said.

“For my mental health, boxing and being able to do what I love, as well as doing what I love being a parent - I love being a mum first and foremost, that’s most important to me is being a mum, that always comes first even before the boxing. 

“But I’ve still got the boxing, the thing that I’ve loved since I was little, I started at eight years old and I’m still able to do it being a parent to three children. 

It helps massively, like I say if I ever get stressed or anything I go for a run or go to the gym and it helps me, it really does.” 

Having made the decision to return to boxing and target an Olympic medal, Davison has put pressure on herself to deliver in Paris, calling 2024 her “last chance” in her pursuit of Olympic glory. 

She added: “Do you know what, since I was eight, I’ve always wanted to go to the Olympics, I had children and I remember watching the 2012 Olympics with my eldest and being like “I want to go to an Olympics.” 

“Me being here, training around these people, it’s going to happen, I was so close in Tokyo. 

“It’s experience for me and I’ve gained so much experience in a short amount of time, like I say, I’ve got so much experience I can still gain from now until Paris, it’s my last shot, and I’m going to give it everything.” 

Davison is one of six women selected by GB Boxing to compete at the 2022 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul next week (9-20 May 2022).

She is joined by 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Rosie Eccles and 2019 world championship bronze medallist and European silver medallist Demie-Jade Resztan.

Flyweight Helen Jones, lightweight Shona Whitwell and middleweight Kerry Davis have also been selected and will be competing at their first World Boxing Championships.