British boxer Peter McGrail is licking his lips at the chance of fighting again on the international stage after being included in Great Britain’s boxing squad for the 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships, in Hamburg.
Following on from their unprecedented success at the European championships in Ukraine – where Great Britain claimed a historic eight medals – McGrail headlines a ten-man squad ready to compete at the worlds, which run from August 25-September 2.
And fresh from his own European triumph, where he stormed to gold in his maiden championship, McGrail highlighted the event as the next stepping stone as he continues building towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
“This is the next big competition for me and, after winning the European Championships in my first appearance at a major tournament, I am going into it feeling confident,” said the Liverpool bantamweight.
“It has been a good year for me so far and to put in another performance in Hamburg will really establish me on the world stage and stand me in good stead as I work towards the Olympics in Tokyo.”
Five other medallists from this summer’s European championships will join forces with McGrail, including twin brothers Pat and Luke McCormack, Rio Olympian Galal Yafai, flyweight Niall Farrell and heavyweight Cheavon Clarke.
Lightweight Calum French, who claimed bronze in Ukraine, has also made the selection while Scottish bantamweight Lee McGregor, light-heavyweight Thomas Whittaker-Hart and middleweight Ben Whittaker completing the line-up.
GB Boxing’s performance director Rob McCracken could not hide his delight at the considerable British contingent heading to the championships and believes it will be the perfect environment to blood his young boxers.
“This is a very talented but still relatively inexperienced group so to have qualified ten of them for the World Championships is an achievement itself,” he said.
“It is still early days in the Tokyo cycle and the world championships is a very tough event, so this is a good opportunity for all of the boxers to show they possess what it takes to compete at this level and have the capability to go on and win medals as we progress towards the next Olympics in 2020.”
The nine Englishman and one Scot in the GB Boxing group will compete in their home nation vests in Hamburg. The full line-up is:
Galal Yafai - Light-flyweight – 49kg
Niall Farrell - Flyweight – 52kg
Peter McGrail - Bantamweight – 56kg
Lee McGregor - Bantamweight – 56kg
Calum French - Lightweight – 60kg
Luke McCormack - Light-welterweight – 64kg
Pat McCormack - Welterweight – 69kg
Ben Whittaker - Middleweight – 75kg
Tom Whittaker-Hart - Light-heavyweight – 81kg
Cheavon Clarke - Heavyweight – 91kg