GB call-up for Isaac MacLeod and Jake Slater

Young boxers Isaac MacLeod (left) and Jake Slater at Sunderland ABC Boxing Club

Young boxers Isaac MacLeod (left) and Jake Slater at Sunderland ABC Boxing Club

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ISAAC MacLeod and Jake Slater are celebrating after following fellow Sunderland ABC stars Tony Jeffries and Warren Baister into the elite GB boxing squad.

And coaches at the Barnes School-based boxing club hope that by the time the 2016 Olympics in Brazil ends, it will be able to boast four Olympians.

Jeffries of course took bronze in the Beijing Olympics in 2008,while Baister is hopefully on course to represent Great Britain this summer.

The 26-year-old is hoping a good showing in the Euros this spring will cement a place in the squad for the London Olympics and then he’ll hope to emulate Jeffries in bringing a medal back to Wearside.

Some way behind those two, but equally ambitious, are 16-year-old Isaac and 17-year-old Jake who have just received an invitation to train at the Sheffield Institute of Sport – the home of GB Boxing.

The call-up is confirmation that the pair are being groomed for the top, and potential Olympic qualification themselves.

They will now travel to Sheffield on Friday, returning on Monday, while GB boxing coaches look to hone and develop the youngsters skills further.

Not that the duo are shot of confirmation of their potential and abilities already – both having captured Golden Gloves as National ABA Junior champions.

MacLeod also has Tri-Nations gold, European Championship gold and World Championship silver to his credit.

Both Isaac and Jake have won national schoolboy championships - the regional finals of which are being hosted by Sunderland ABC this year.

Former super-heavyweight boxer Gavin McGhin is helping organise and run the event being held at the Rainton Meadows Arena this Saturday.

He told the Echo: “It’s a big coup for Sunderland to be holding the North East finals – it’s the first time in about a decade that the city has put in a successful bid for the event.

“There’ll be no shortage of good bouts on and it’s a chance to see the stars of the future at the start of their careers.”

Anyone who would like to tickets in advance or wants further details should ring Gav on 07984 158 557. Alternatively boxing fans can pay on the door on the day.