The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and Dundee)

Eubank Olympics bid blocked by GB Boxing

RIO: No place for British middleweig­ht champion on GB team for Games

- MARK STANIFORTH

GB Boxing have rejected an approach by Chris Eubank Sr regarding a place for his son on the team for Rio 2016.

Eubank made the move on behalf of the reigning British middleweig­ht champion following confirmati­on by world governing body AIBA that profession­als will be allowed at the Olympics.

Antony Fowler has already qualified for the Games at 75kg meaning Eubank’s only chance would be to go as a light-welterweig­ht or welterweig­ht, which would almost certainly be beyond him.

While GB Boxing have not entirely dismissed the prospect of picking a profession­al for a future Olympics, sources have confirmed it would be highly unlikely for Rio at this late stage.

They remain optimistic that one – if not both – remaining men’s places will be secured at one of the two remaining qualificat­ion events in Baku and Venezuela.

Fowler secured his place at Rio 2016 at the European qualifier in April.

A GB Boxing spokesman said: “We can confirm that we have had inquiries from people claiming to represent Chris Eubank Jr.

“We explained that the qualificat­ion process for Rio 2016 has been going on for several months and that Great Britain has already qualified a boxer in the middleweig­ht (75kg) category, Antony Fowler, and that he will represent Team GB in that weight class at the Olympic Games this summer.”

Matchroom, who promote Eubank Jr as a profession­al, have also dismissed the developmen­t.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Olympic champion Katie Taylor branded the decision to let profession­als compete in Rio as “ridiculous”.

Taylor said: “I don’t think it’s the right thing to do.

“It’s ridiculous having the pros in an amateur sport but at the same time there’s a lot of pros who are going to struggle over three rounds.

“And some of the comments over the last few weeks and months have been very insulting to amateur boxers and I think it will be an eye-opener for a lot of people.”

 ?? Picture: Getty. ?? Chris Eubank Jr: training for first title defence.
Picture: Getty. Chris Eubank Jr: training for first title defence.

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