The future of British boxing looks bright. Last year the GB Boxing team secured their best Olympic medal in 100 years.
Light-heavyweight Amber Moss-Birch and super-heavyweight Enriko Itauma both won gold medals at the World Youth Championships in Spain two weeks ago, with England taking an impressive seven medals at the event.
Moss-Birch is part of a new generation of athletes emerging in women’s boxing.
“It was very difficult this time, I think because of what was at stake,” he said Sky Sports. “Watching boxing, they were the best boxers in the world, they were top boxers.”
He had just moved up from middleweight earlier this year for this tournament. But Moss-Birch stopped his opponent, Uzbekistan’s Oltinoy Sotimboeva, in the first round of the World Championship final.
“The Uzbeks are very good, they went to the top of the Worlds, they won a lot of medals,” Moss-Birch said. “His plan was to stop his music, stop his movement.
“When I went into the final I was very nervous. I was expecting it to go three times, to fight hard. But I went in there and the shots started falling, you know when you hit and I’m shooting well. and the head goes back.
“The ref quickly came in and counted and a few more things happened and it ended up being a three count… It rocked and I was so happy. It was crazy, everyone was cheering.
“It was a bit of a relief,” he added. “Everything fell into place.”
His next goal is to make it to the full GB team and eventually perform at a high level.
2022 has been a big year for British women’s boxing, with Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall headlining the women’s boxing card in October and Natasha Jonas becoming world champion.
It has been encouraging for Moss-Birch to see the development of that side of the game.
“The whole women’s card that we saw in camp, when we were preparing for this World, we were looking at it as a team. Even all the guys were on the edge of their seats saying that the women were good on the card,” Moss. – Said Birch.
“It’s amazing to see. It’s really inspiring. Because a few years ago women’s boxing wasn’t big and now more people are watching it.
“We believe that when the athletes are done, the Olympics, we will be looking to become champions,” he added.
“I’m thankful that these women are building stairs for us.”