Selection was tough for McCracken

29 March 2012 / 20:34

Great Britain head coach Rob McCracken admitted selecting his squad for the final Olympic qualifier in Trabzon next month was "one of the toughest decisions of my career".

McCracken sprung a number of surprises in his final squad for the tournaments, which is the last chance for British boxers to supplement the five who have already qualified for their home Olympics.

It means the likes of lightweight pair Martin Ward and Iain Weaver, and Commonwealth Games heavyweight gold medallist Simon Vallily, have seen their London 2012 dreams dashed.

McCracken said: "The decision was extremely difficult and not something me or any of the other coaches enjoyed. But you just have to do your job and pick those you feel have the best chance of qualifying."

Liverpool's Sam Maxwell built on a recent gold medal performance in Finland to pip Ward and Weaver for the England 60kg berth. Scotland's Josh Taylor, and Joe Cordine of Wales, are also competing for the single GB qualifying place.

McCracken said: "Sam has performed superbly in recent months including winning the GB Championships, and he deserves his chance. He is big and strong at the weight and is growing into an excellent boxer."

Meanwhile another Liverpudlian, Callum Smith, is moving up to try his luck at light-heavyweight after failing to find a way past middleweight hopeful Anthony Ogogo, who will also go to Turkey.

McCracken added: "Callum does not have much experience at the weight but he is a very big lad and he is still growing. He has been around the weight for months and he is clearly the best at 81kg at the moment."

Londoner Charlie Edwards gets a chance to try to qualify at light-flyweight while Sunderland's Warren Baister is preferred at heavyweight. Reigning European champions Andrew Selby and Fred Evans of Wales, plus Luke Campbell, Tom Stalker and Anthony Joshua, have already qualified for the Games. .

The squad for Trabzon is: 49kg Charlie Edwards; 60kg Sam Maxwell (Eng); Josh Taylor (Sco); Joe Cordina (Wal); 75kg Anthony Ogogo; 81kg Callum Smith; 91kg Warren Baister.