The future of British boxing is looking bright. Last year the GB Boxing team secured its best medal haul at an Olympic Games in 100 years. This year Britain’s amateur boxers have excelled at Youth level.
Light-heavyweight Amber Moss-Birch and super-heavyweight Enriko Itauma both won gold medals at the World Youth championships in Spain two weeks ago, with an England team that secured a remarkable seven medals at the event.
Moss-Birch is part of a new generation of rising athletes in women’s boxing.
“It was a lot more serious this time, I think because of what was at stake,” she told Sky Sports. “To see the boxing, it was the best amateurs in the world, it was quality boxing.”
She had only moved up from middleweight earlier this year for this tournament. But Moss-Birch stopped her opponent, Uzbekistan’s Oltinoy Sotimboeva, in the first round of their World championship final.
“The Uzbeks are very good, they topped the leaderboard at the Worlds, got the most medals,” Moss-Birch said. “The plan was just to stop her rhythm, stop her flow.
“Going into the final I was super, super nervous. I was expecting it to go three threes, to have a tough fight. But got in there and then the shots started landing, you know when you’re punching and it’s a clean shot and the head goes back.
“The ref was quick to step in and give a count and a few more happened and it ended up being three counts… It got waved off and I was super happy. It was crazy, everyone was cheering.
“It was a bit of a relief,” she added. “Everything fell into place.”
Her next ambition is to move up to the full GB squad and eventually perform at senior level.
2022 has been a breakthrough year for women’s professional boxing in Britain, with Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall headlining an all women’s boxing card in October as well as Natasha Jonas starring as she became a unified world champion.
It’s been inspiring for Moss-Birch to see the development of that side of the sport.
“The all-female card we watched it in camp, as we were prepping for these Worlds, we watched it as a team. Even all the lads were on the edge of their seats saying how good the females were on the card,” Moss-Birch said.
“It’s brilliant seeing it. It’s so inspiring. Because a few years ago women’s boxing wasn’t that big and now more and more people are seeing it.
“Hopefully after the amateurs is done, the Olympics, we’ll definitely be looking to turn pro,” she added.
“I’m just grateful now the women are building stepping stones for us.”