British pair narrowly denied podiums on World Championship debuts

GB Boxing

NARROW defeats for Conner Tudsbury and Lewis Williams in their quarter-final bouts saw the pair miss-out on a medal at the 2021 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Belgrade yesterday.

In his first appearance at a major tournament, Tudsbury (from Manchester) was denied a medal by the closest of margins in his cruiserweight (86kg) contest, losing a 3-2 split decision to Belgium’s Victor Schelstraete.

In the heavyweight division (92kg), Lewis Williams (from Leamington Spa) was denied a place on the podium as he lost a unanimous decision to Madiyar Saidrakhimov from Uzbekistan.

The pair were the last two members of the GB Boxing squad remaining in the competition and means the team will return from Belgrade without a medal.

GB Boxing’s Performance Director, Rob McCracken said: “The world championships is always hard and we knew this one would be particularly tough, as we had a new and inexperienced team, however we have had some good performances and will look to take the positives.

“Conner Tudsbury boxed very well and was a whisker away from winning a medal. Lewis Williams has boxed four times on his first appearance at a major tournament and has done well to defeat some much more experienced opponents.

“At the same time, some of our more experienced boxers were handed very difficult draws in their first bouts, so it’s a shame they were not able to get themselves into the tournament.

“We are at the beginning of a new cycle and, at this stage, we are focused on performance as much as results, and have seen enough to give us something to build upon.

“This world championship has come very early in the Olympic cycle however the boxers will have benefitted from the experience and can look to next year when they will have the opportunity to gain more experience and continue their development.”

Outside of the GB Boxing team, Scotland’s Reese Lynch scored a 3:2 split decision victory over Sanatali Toltayev of Kazakhstan in his light-welterweight (63.5kg) quarter-final yesterday to guarantee himself at least a bronze medal.

He will compete to upgrade his medal to silver or gold in Thursday’s semi-finals. Although not currently a member of the World Class Programme (WCP) for boxing, Lynch’s medal winning performance in Belgrade demonstrates the growing strength of the home nation programmes and means he will now have the opportunity to join the WCP as a funded athlete.

The results of all the bouts involving boxers from the GB Boxing squad can be viewed at www.gbboxing.org.uk.