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Okolie and Buatsi move on: Catching up with the GB 2016 Olympians

As Lawrence Okolie and Joshua Buatsi vacate their British titles, Danny Flexen looks at the GB Boxing 2016 Olympic squad and where they are now

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The Rio 216 GB Boxing squad
The Rio 216 GB Boxing squad

This week saw Rio 2016 Olympians Lawrence Okolie (cruiserweight) and Joshua Buatsi (light-heavyweight) relinquish their British titles ahead of assaults on the European stage. This seemed like an appropriate time to assess the progress made by all members of that 12-strong GB Boxing Games squad.

 

Muhammad Ali
Bantamweight
Rio Result: Round of 16
The forgotten man of the squad and for good reason. He tested positive for a steroid in April 2017 and copped a two-year ban. He is due to make his pro debut on October 12 in Leeds.

 

Joe Cordina
Lightweight
Rio result: Round of 16
Welsh stylist Cordina is 10-0 (7), trained by Tony Sims and reigns as the British and Commonwealth champion. Likely to soon challenge for the European crown.

 

Savannah Marshall
Super-middleweight
Rio result: Quarter-finalist
The Hartlepool lady, famously the last person to defeat Claressa Shields, is 7-0 (5), trained by Peter Fury and looking powerful. She aims to win a title at 168lbs before dropping down to face Shields once again.

 

Nicola Adams
Flyweight
Rio result: Gold medallist
The Leeds lass, 5-0 (3), is the first of the team to win a pro world title, although that says as much about the lack of depth in the female flyweight ranks as her undoubted talent. Trained by Dominic Ingle, she makes her first defence of the WBO belt on September 27 at the Royal Albert Hall.

 

Qais Ashfaq
Featherweight
Rio result: Round of 32
Another from Leeds, but the paid career thus far for 7-0 (3) Ashfaq has been a slow-burner, although he only turned pro in February 2018. Trained by Kelvin Travis, he got a good win over Sean Davis last month.

 

Galal Yafai
Flyweight
Rio result: Round of 16
The elimination of the male 49kg weight-class to make room for more female participation forced the youngest Yafai brother to move up 52kg but he is looking forward to qualifying for Tokyo 2020.

 

Lawrence Okolie
Cruiserweight
Rio result: Round of 16
The busiest of the GB Rio alumni at 13-0 (10), the tall, rangy Hackney man has also fought the best domestic opposition among his peers. A former British and Commonwealth champion, Okolie, now trained by Shane McGuigan, looks to unseat European ruler Yves Ngabu on October 26.

 

Josh Kelly
Welterweight
Rio Result: Round of 16
The new father was disappointed last time out by only getting a draw with Ray Robinson, but the American is world-class and the flashy Sunderland operator only 9-0-1 (6). Working under Adam Booth, the ex-Commonwealth king could yet go far.

 

Joshua Buatsi
Light-heavyweight
Rio Result: Bronze medallist
The Croydon man, still trained by old amateur coach Mark Gillespie, is the most highly touted of the bunch. The former British boss has looked clinical thus far in his 12-0 (10) journey.

 

Pat McCormack
Welterweight
Rio Result: Round of 16
One of two Rio alumni planning to go on to Tokyo 2020, as is his twin Luke at light-welterweight, the lively Birtley man is one of our best hopes for a medal in the Land of the Rising Sun.

 

Anthony Fowler
Super-welterweight
Rio Result: Round of 32
The only fighter on this list with a defeat in the pro ranks, but strong, super-fit Fowler is undeterred by his tight loss to Scott Fitzgerald in March. At 10-1 (8) and trained by Dave Coldwell, the upside is still great for the Liverpudlian.

 

Joe Joyce
Heavyweight
Rio Result: Silver medallist
Thought desperately unlucky by many to not win gold in Brazil, Joyce is on the fast track as a pro. The former Commonwealth champion is the current WBA Gold title-holder and mandatory contender for their ‘regular’ belt. He is the only fighter on this list who has fought (and won) in genuine world-class, and the Putney behemoth, now working under Adam Booth, is 10-0 (9) and closing in on the heavyweight elite.

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