Olympic dream not over for boxer – despite coronavirus postponement
- Credit: PA
British boxer Charley Davison is returning home to Lowestoft after the Boxing Road to Tokyo European qualifier in London was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The 26-year-old mother-of-three had claimed a dominant unanimous points victory over Ireland’s Carly McNaul in the second round of the qualifier on Monday afternoon to move a step closer to qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games.
But the action was suspended at London’s Copper Box Arena on Monday evening, as the the event was called off due to concerns over the escalating coronavirus crisis and the impact on athletes’ travel arrangements.
The IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) made the decision to suspend the qualifier, which was originally scheduled to run until March 24, along with the World qualifier that was scheduled for Paris.
It is understood that the Boxing Task Force are now hoping to complete the qualification process in May and June.
In a statement, the BTF said: “In light of significant recent changes in the coronavirus situation and growing concerns relating to the welfare of athletes, officials, staff and volunteers, the IOC’s Boxing Task Force (BTF) has taken the decision to cancel the rest of the Road to Tokyo Boxing Qualifier from Tuesday, March 17.
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“The decision has been made in conjunction with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the Boxing Road to Tokyo Qualifying event amid the increasing global travel restrictions and quarantine measures which are impacting on the travel plans of athletes, teams and officials and affecting their ability to return home.”
Charley, who boxes for Attleborough BC, was due to face the third seed – Poland’s Sandra Drabik – in the U51kg quarter-finals on Thursday, but this bout will now have to be rescheduled.
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With a win in this bout likely to guarantee Charley a place at the Olympics, it is hoped that the qualifier will be rescheduled in the next couple of months.
Charley had returned to boxing 18 months ago after a seven-year break to give birth to three children.
She has been coached by John Cremin and Frank Bacon in Lowestoft since she was eight as Charley boxes for Attleborough BC. But she still regularly trains at her main base of Nirvana Health and Fitness on the south Lowestoft industrial estate and on Lowestoft beach.
Delighted with the victory, Mr Cremin said: “It was a very good performance.
“I can’t praise Charley enough.
“The referee should have stopped the fight in the last round (after giving the Irish boxer two standing eight counts) as Charley was hitting her with such clean shots.
“It is a real shame it has been suspended but the last thing they will want to do is postpone The Olympics.”