SUNDERLAND boxer Warren Baister’s hopes of Olympic glory next year have been dealt a potentially knockout blow by the GB Boxing selection committee.
The 26-year-old heavyweight was expected to be nominated by GB Boxing this week as their preferred choice to fight for Olympic gold in London next year.
But instead they opted for Middlesbrough’s Simon Vallily, whose record this year is not as good as Baister’s but who won Commonwealth Gold last year.
Warrren, who was unable to take part in the Commonwealth Games because of injury, said: “It’s a real blow not to get the nomination but I just have to get on with it.
“I can’t hide the fact that I’m disappointed but there’s still an outside chance I could end up going and I’ve just got to be very professional, focus on my boxing and hope my chance comes around.”
Although Vallily has won initial selection, he will have to prove himself in the forthcoming World Championships in Azerbaijan later this month. The competition doubles up as an Olympic qualifier too.
If the Teessider fails there, then Baister is likely to get his chance to impress in the next set of qualifiers being held in Istanbul next year.
The Sunderland ABC boxer said: “It’s out of my hands as thing stand but I intend to keep myself in the best possible shape so that if I do get a chance I’ll be there to take it.”