Mum's the word for Lowestoft's Olympic hopeful
- Credit: PA
Charley Davison spent the last Olympics bottle-feeding and changing nappies – now the mum-of-three is targeting Tokyo gold.
The flyweight boxer has been named in the Team GB squad and will compete at her first Olympics this summer, just three years on from making a spectacular return to the ring.
Davison was a youth European champion, but hung up the gloves just before the London 2012 Games to have son Arnell, while daughter Amani and second son Amir soon followed.
The Lowestoft ace only decided to return to the ring to shift some baby weight, but was soon coaxed back to the GB set-up in 2018 – and it’s a decision that’s handsomely paid off.
She punched her Tokyo ticket at the European qualifiers last month with an impressive silver and believes she has what it takes to fight for gold in Japan.
But instead of personal glory, providing a better life for her children is what inspires her to lace up the gloves.
“Before I get into that ring, all I think about is those three children. It is not just for me, it is for them as well. This could change my life as well as theirs if I medal.
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“For me to get as far as I have done, I can’t see a stopping point. I want to get better every time and prove to people that you can do anything after having children, you are capable of doing it.”
Davison’s path is not without its sacrifices. Qualifying for the Olympics kept her away from home for five weeks, while she will be away for longer when the Games come around next month.
Her partner, Bruce, also stopped working full-time in the Indian restaurant he co-owns with his brother to be a stay-at-home dad, allowing her to train and compete.
“I thought after having the children that I wouldn’t come back,” she added.
“I went down to the gym to shift some baby weight and I got the bug again. My coach saw me training hard and said I’ve still got it and can come back if I want to. I didn’t expect to get this far but I am so glad I did because I wouldn’t be here otherwise.
“At first it was very different for me, being away from work and my partner. I was a bit lost and wondered if I could do it but the kids always knew I did boxing. My oldest is nine so gets it a bit more and I can explain it’s not just a hobby, it’s my life. If I didn’t have my partner, I don’t think I could have done it. He’s a brilliant dad and I don’t know any other dads who stay at home with three children.”
Davison is one of four women on the Team GB squad, with 2019 middleweight world champion Lauren Price, 2019 Youth Olympic champion Caroline Dubois and World Championship bronze medallist Karriss Artingstall.
All four are hoping to follow in the footsteps of Team GB icon Nicola Adams and win Olympic gold, and Davison is confident she can deliver.
She said: “100per cent. I have been back on the team for a short amount of time and I have picked it up so much, I have caught up with the girls.
“I just boxed in the Europeans [qualifiers] against the No.2 seed and had her in the final. I could have beat her if I changed my tactics. I know what I have to do and am fully focussed.”
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