WHEN selecting boxers to come for GB try-outs, you look for the obvious really: their natural talent, their ability, fitness levels, you look at how they cope in running, in sparring, in all forms of the physical side of it. Also, you have a talk with them, you get to know them a little bit, and see how they are around a group of boxers over a weekend. Some boxers in the past have shown to be great at a club, but being away from home in a championship environment with a group of people, sometimes it isn’t always for them.
There’s a big jump between the domestic level and the international level. There have been some boxers that have come for assessments and been late for sessions, haven’t been anywhere near the weight they were supposed to be at and some have been disappointing. Natural talent is one thing, but all the rest of it is what you need to get you to the top. You get some boxers that will have all their kit, they’ll be on time, they’ll train hard, they’ll work really hard, they’ll be positive, they’ll want to learn, and once in a while you’ll have the opposite, a boxer who’s not disciplined and not overly good at listening to instructions from the coaches. You can work out who are the better boxers, the ones with more talent and the right attitude, over a little period of time. You can spar them against people of their own standard and development boxers within the programme.
It becomes pretty apparent after two or three weekends, the boxers who have something about them and have the talent to move on; they get into international boxing and get onto the programme.