WALES’ Andrew Selby made history today when he defeated Michael Conlan of Ireland to become the first person from Great Britain to retain the European Boxing Championship. The 24-year-old from Barry in South Wales crowned another superb tournament with a 2-1 judges’ victory over the Irishman to confirm his continued status as the number one flyweight boxer in the world in the official AIBA world rankings.
Selby said: “Things did not work out for me at the Olympics Games but I have been in great from since then and am just really happy to retain my title and become a two-time European Champion
“Conlan is one of the best in the world and always gives me a tough bout so to overcome him in the final makes it special. I am really pleased for the whole team of us here and to come away with a gold medal to go with the bronzes won by Jack and Joe is great for the whole squad.”
Selby’s gold capped a fine week for the English, Scottish and Welsh boxers in the GB Boxing squad which won three medals in total as Leeds’ light-flyweight, Jack Bateson, and London’s super-heavyweight, Joe Joyce, both secured bronze medals for England in their maiden appearances at a major international tournament.
Selby’s historic gold is his fifth medal at a major tournament. He won bronzes at the European Championships in 2008 and 2010, gold in 2011 and took silver at the 2011 World Championships in Baku. He is the first boxer from Great Britain to win two European gold medals.
Rob McCracken, Performance Director of the GB Boxing squad, said: “Andrew has been amongst the best boxers in the world – at any weight category – for a couple of years now and this is a great win for him after the disappointment of London where the draw went against him.
“He was one of the stars of the recent World Series of Boxing, has won his last 14 bouts in a row since London and has now made history by becoming a two-time Champion of what many people regard as the toughest assignment in the amateur boxing calendar. He has been a real talisman for the squad and thoroughly deserves his victory.
McCracken added: “Overall I think the boxers we selected have acquitted themselves very well this last week and to come away with three medals from such a tough competition, at this stage in the Olympic cycle, is a very good achievement.
“We are in a transition phase at the moment but I have seen a lot of good things here this week and, as long as the boxers continue to work hard and apply themselves, then it augurs well for the future.”
Details of all results and bouts featuring boxers from the GB Boxing squad that competed in the European Championships are available at www.gbboxing.org.uk.