Lionhearts reveal WSB squad

The team, which includes eight medallists from the 2014 Commonwealth Games, is made up of 30 boxers from the GB Boxing Podium and Podium Potential squads and eight overseas selections.

Among the British contingent are middleweight Antony Fowler, welterweight Scott Fitzgerald and super-heavyweight Joe Joyce, who were gold medal winners in Glasgow last summer.

England’s silver and bronze medallists, Qais Ashfaq and Sam Maxwell are part of the squad along with the Welsh trio of Ashley Williams, Sean McGoldrick and Joe Cordina who all secured Commonwealth bronze.

Double European champion Andrew Selby and flyweight rival Jack Bateson are both included but Scotland’s Josh Taylor will not be able to take part because of his recent hand surgery.

The Lionhearts’ overseas selections include a number of experienced internationals including heavyweight Ionut-Mirel Jitaru of Romania and Bulgaria’s 2009 world bantamweight champion, Detelin Dalakliev, who will compete for the Lionhearts at lightweight.

Their first match takes place on January 15 against the China Dragons at York Hall in Bethnal Green, with the five-man team including Fowler and Ashfaq. They then travel to Kiev to face the Ukraine Ottomans on January 23 and take on the Morocco Atlas Lions in Casablanca on January 30.

“The number of Olympics qualification places available through WSB has increased, so it is important that our boxers take part in the competition to give them as many chances as possible to make it to Rio 2016,” explained Lionhearts head coach Rob McCracken.

“WSB is a high quality competition and a slightly different format to that which some of our squad are used to, however the last time we participated, the boxers really enjoyed it and felt it was a very beneficial experience that had a positive impact on their development and performance.”

British Lionhearts squad:

Light-flyweight: Ashley Williams (Wales), Joe Maphosa (England), Harvey Horn (England), Oliver Simpson (England).

Flyweight: Andrew Selby (Wales), Jack Bateson (England), Kelvin de la Nieve (Spain).

Bantamweight: Qais Ashfaq (England), Sean McGoldrick (Wales), Enrico La Cruz (Netherlands).

Lightweight: Joe Cordina (Wales), Luke McCormack (England), Detelin Dalakliev (Bulgaria), Oualid Belaoura (France)

Light-welterweight: Sam Maxwell (England), Pat McCormack (England), Abdelmalik Ladjali (France)

Welterweight: Scott Fitzgerald (England), Josh Kelly (England), Ekow Essuman (England), Christian Mbwakongo (England)

Middleweight: Antony Fowler (England), Felix Cash (England), Daniel Woledge (England), Troy Williamson (England)

Light-heavyweight: Aston Brown (Scotland), Joshua Buatsi (England), Jake Ball (England), John Newell (England), Tom Whittaker-Hart (England), Lyndon Arthur (England)

Heavyweight: Ionut-Mirel Jitaru (Romania), Abdoulaye Diane (France), Warren Baister (England), Greg Bridet (England)

Super-heavyweight: Joe Joyce (England), Frazer Clarke (England), Joe Goodall (Australia)

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