Greatly enhancing the global appeal of WSB, the introduction of the British Lionhearts to the competition is certain to capture the imagination of the worldwide public with a star-studded squad destined to upset the current order. Leading the line will be two of the sport’s most decorated athletes, London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Fred Evans and AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist Andrew Selby, both reigning European Champions.
Also joining them are Commonwealth bronze medallist and London Olympian Josh Taylor from Scotland, the explosive Gamal Yafai and Irish wonderkid Joe Ward.
23-year-old virtuoso Andrew Selby is known for spellbinding his opponents with his exquisite technique and sublime footwork and he will be one of the major forces in the Bantamweight category this season. Switching stance at will and throwing an array of combination punches, he is one of the most prodigious talents around. With a style very much suited to the pro format of WSB, Selby will soon be setting the competition alight.
Fred Evans was one of the revelations this summer at the London 2012 Olympic Games after claiming the Welterweight (69kg) silver medal, valiantly losing in the final to Kazakhstan’s Serik Sapiyev, who was latter voted the tournament’s best boxer. The 21-year-old orthodox fighter from Cardiff delighted the crowds at the ExCeL with his blend of power and poise and has a really bright future ahead of him. Evans and Selby are very good friends and will most certainly be the big leaders in the team.
The tall and rangy Josh Taylor really came of age this year, progressing through a tough draw at the AIBA European Olympic Qualifying Event in Turkey to book his place for London 2012 where he impressed in his two fights. Hard-hitter Gamal Yafai is an unknown quantity at international level but for those in the know he is a fearsome adversary. Joe Ward is the next big Irish hope who many predict will do great things in the build up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Making up the rest of the squad are Charlie Edwards (England), Sean McGoldrick (Wales), Joseph Cordina (Wales), Sam Maxwell (England), John Joe Nevin (Ireland), Aston Brown (Scotland), Anthony Fowler (England), Adriani Vastine (France), Babacar Kamara (Sweden), Lawrence Osueke (England), Mohammed Arjaoui (Morocco), Frazer Clarke (England), Uaine Fa (Tonga) and Joe Joyce (England).
The British Lionhearts begin their campaign away to the USA Knockouts on Friday 16 November, with their first home match set to take place at Celtic Manor, the world famous 2010 Ryder Cup venue, on Friday 23 November.