27th July 2012

LIVERPOOL’S Tom Stalker has got his heart set on carving himself a slice of history with an Olympic gold medal at London 2012 – but he’s adamant fame and fortune will not follow.

The 28-year-old, who captain’s the ten-strong GB boxing squad, is looking to complete his major championship set in London and add an Olympic medal to those he has already garnered at world, European and Commonwealth level.

If successful, Stalker, who was overlooked for the Beijing Olympics in favour of Frankie Gavin, would become the first boxer in history to do so, having collected Commonwealth Games gold in 2010, world bronze last year and two European silver medals since 2010.

But while Beijing 2008 gold medalist James DeGale, and the majority of the British squad, saw his head turned by the lure of the professional ranks after his Olympic exploits, Stalker is taking drastic measures to ensure he doesn’t fall into the same trap.

“Anthony (Joshua) and I have both agreed that after the Games we want to go to somewhere in the third world so that when we come back to England we appreciate what we have,” said Stalker.

“We’ve made a pact that if we both win a medal we will go to a poor country. We want to come back down to earth and visit people less well off than us.

“The dream is to get a medal at these Games, that would just be the icing on the cake for me, I’ve got every other medal there is to get as an amateur so to get the full set would be great.

“I would go down as the first boxer in history to medal in every major and that would be amazing, it’s a huge incentive.

“I’m happy being an amateur at the moment, representing my country is what makes me proud and I know that after the Games it’s all going to get pretty crazy.”

While Gavin didn’t exactly do Great Britain proud in Beijing – he failed to make the required weight and could not compete – the rest of the squad certainly did, collecting one gold medal and two bronzes to reap GB’s most successful Olympic boxing medal haul for 52 years.

Recent history shows however, that Stalker and co have what it takes to top that – Andrew Selby, Luke Campbell and Anthony Joshua are all world silver medalists while all three female boxers reached the podium at May’s World Championships in China. But Stalker is refusing to make any bold predictions.

“I would be silly to stand here now and start making bold statements about what I’m going to do, I will need a lot of luck to win that gold medal,” he said. 

“We’ve got great fighters in every weight category there is no doubt about that, but there are great fighters all over the world.

“It’s scary to think like that, we are all training as hard as we can, we’ve got no distractions and we’re like a family, we all come to each other with our problems and we will be staying hungry from now until the Games.” 

By Barrie White

www.sportsbeat.co.uk
www.britishboxers.co.uk 

Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of Team GB and proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games.  Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb.com/london2012
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