HOP Boxing Team with the OlympiansThree Heart of Portsmouth Boxing Academy (H.O.P) boxers travelled to the home of the GB Olympic Boxing Team English Institute of Sports in Sheffield to train and spar with the nation’s best boxers in preparation for their ABA and JABA national title bid this year.

ABA of England Advanced Coach “Q” Shillingford explained: I would have liked to have taken all of the H.O.P boxers who are in the national championships, however I managed to take Keiran Rodden, Ryan Colqhuan and Greg Bridet to train with the elite boxers at team GB in the EIS, Sheffield.

HOP Boxing Team with GB Head Coach Robert McCrackenThey also got to meet and talk to former Commonwealth Gold medalist, Olympic Bronze Medalist and former Super Middleweight Champions Richie Woodhall who is now a consultant and coach for team GB. They of course met the GB Boxing Team and coaches who were in training, as they build up for the 2012 Olympic Games.

The lads had a great time, Keiran Rodden sparred with European Amateur Boxing Champion Andrew Selby and top International and the Matal Yafai”. Ryan sparred with Anthony Ogogo and Greg Bridet did many rounds with the GB number one heavyweight. “Q” added the H.O.P boxers are the amateur games future and what better but to take them to visit their destiny, they all performed very well and we have been invited back to EIS in a few weeks for more sparring and training.

HOP Boxer Biola KudusKieran Rodden said “what an experience to be sparring in front of the GB number one coach against the best boxers in the country and the world”

The added bonus was the attendance and training of WBC Super Middleweight Champion Carl Froch, who took time out to talk to the lads about the boxing world, amateur and professional and the lads got to watch him train and spar.

GB Performance Director and GB Head Coach Robert McCracken, praised the H.O.P boxers for their efforts and fitness and also talked to them about moving up in the amateur world to the GB set up.

HOP BoxersQ said: To get boxers to the next level they have to experience what the next level is, they all know now what is expected of them and what they will have to do and how hard the next level will be. There are no short cuts in sport, “if you want to be the best you have to beat the best”.

H.O.P is very proud of the boxers, they did very well; the sparring was controlled but the work rate high, ideal recipe for success.