Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boxers Will Lead Fight for Medals; Olympic Games

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boxers Will Lead Fight for Medals; Olympic Games

Article excerpt

Byline: STUART RAYNER

BOXING could be the big British success story of the 2008 Olympics. Cycling and rowing will claim more medals, track and field will command more attention, 14-year-old diver Tom Daley will melt more hearts and Shanaze Reade's BMX bike riding will cause more doubletakes, but the story of British amateur boxing is a fightback Rocky would be proud of. Leading the fight will be two North East lads.

Next week GB will have nearly three times more fighters in Beijing than at the last two Games combined. There is quality as well as quantity, with the country's last Olympic boxer, Amir Khan, predicting all eight could claim a medal.

So too does Glenn McCrory, who believes Durham light-welterweight Bradley Saunders can become the first to emulate his feat of being a professional boxing world champion from the North East. If McCrory sounds confident, Saunders is no less so, having given reigning Olympic champion Manus Boonjumnong a good going over en route to winning the International Boxing Association's Presidents Cup in May.

"Boonjumnong just wouldn't come out for the last round (of the semi-final)," recalls Saunders, who will have an operation to remove bent metal pins from his left hand after Beijing. "He's the current Olympic champion so it just goes to show that I'm capable of doing it. …

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