AM­A­TEURS

Meet fu­ture star Gabriel Dossen

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TAL­ENTED Ir­ish mid­dleweight Gabriel Dossen is pre­par­ing to climb up the ranks. Only 18 years old, al­ready a World Youth bronze medal­list, Dossen had been adapt­ing to box­ing as a se­nior. He faces a cru­cial year. He is train­ing and fight­ing for se­lec­tion for his na­tional team so that ul­ti­mately he can qual­ify for the next Olympic Games. “I’m up for se­lec­tion camp. It started two weeks ago and goes on for the next four weeks. There’s a com­pe­ti­tion in

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Be­larus,” he told Box­ing News. “The camp is tough.”

“Strength and con­di­tion­ing, box­ing, spar­ring. A lot of spar­ring ses­sions,” he con­tin­ued. “There’ll be no one else in the gym, just two box­ers and coaches. It is in­tense.

“We’re all train­ing and putting in 100 per­cent.”

He had his first se­nior bouts at the Haringey Box Cup ear­lier this year, win­ning three con­sec­u­tive con­tests on his way to tak­ing the gold medal and the prize for best boxer. “That was a hard tour­na­ment, that was my sec­ond time box­ing in it. I boxed in it in 2016,” he said. “I fought three tough lads, they were all older than me.

“I fought [River Wil­son Bent in the fi­nal]. That was a very tough fight and he boxed well through­out the tour­na­ment. It wasn’t an easy fi­nal and as we were fight­ing along we at­tracted ev­ery­one, the crowd around was mas­sive.”

“There’s a big dif­fer­ence [at se­nior level]. I moved up weight as well. I’m 75kgs now, this time last year I was 69kgs. My first elite tour­na­ment was the un­der 22 Euro­peans in March in Ro­ma­nia. I lost in the quar­ter-fi­nals but I boxed two tough guys,” Dossen con­tin­ued. “It was very close I lost on a split de­ci­sion.”

He has been suc­cess­ful in­ter­na­tion­ally as Youth, win­ning a bronze medal at the World cham­pi­onships in 2016. That came at a key point. Gabriel was also a qual­ity foot­ball player but had to choose one sport to pur­sue. He’d picked box­ing. “That did me well, be­cause three or four months later I won a World bronze medal. It was a big de­ci­sion though,” Dossen said. “I’ve been box­ing since I was nine years old. My dad was a bit of a boxer… I was a bit of a crazy kid when I was younger. My dad’s been coach­ing me un­til I was 14, tech­ni­cal stuff like foot­work, we used to train twice a day to­gether. I was al­ways train­ing from young, no dis­trac­tions, no par­ties or any­thing like that, I was al­ways train­ing.”

The elite na­tional cham­pi­onships com­ing up at the start of next year will be vi­tal if he is go­ing to ful­fil his Olympic dream. “It will be a huge fac­tor,” he said. “This year is a big year for me, these next two years. I plan to win the Elites in Jan­uary I’ll then prob­a­bly be num­ber one in Ire­land and I’ll be sent to the Olympic qual­i­fiers… Af­ter the Olympics I do plan to turn pro ei­ther in Eng­land or Amer­ica, go on to be world cham­pion, ev­ery boxer’s dream.” But he adds, “This year is cru­cial.” His con­fi­dence though is well­founded. So far in his ca­reer Gabriel Dossen has rarely been beaten. “I’ve had over a hun­dred bouts, [I’ve lost] be­tween 15 and 20,” he said. “I haven’t lost that much.” He hopes for that win­ning habit to con­tinue.

‘THIS NEXT YEAR IS A BIG YEAR FOR ME. I PLAN TO WIN THE ELITE CHAM­PI­ONSHIPS’ John Den­nen @Box­ingnewsjd

HIGH­LIGHT: Dossen steps up to se­nior level in style as he wins the Haringey Box Cup

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