By Joe Hewlett
Two Olympic boxers are determined to build on their success in Brazil as they think about life after Rio.
Liverpool’s Anthony Fowler and Josh Kelly of Sunderland were part of team GB’s biggest squad for an Olympic games since Los Angeles 1984.
Fowler’s Olympic dream was shattered after suffering a knock down in his defeat to Zhanibek Alimkhanuly of Kazakhstan. But the middleweight has put it aside as he looks to the future.
He said: “Being part of the team for Rio was a dream come true despite not getting a medal. At the age of 25, I feel now is the right time to move on and turn as a professional.
“I have an obligation to see out my contact as an amateur which runs out in six weeks. After that I will be looking at gyms, boxing coaches and a promotor for next year. It’s an exciting phase of my career which I can’t wait to begin.”
Kelly, 22, admitted it would be tough to carry on as an amateur for another four years to make it to Tokyo.
“Four years is a long time to prepare for the next Olympics. Anything could happen from now until 2020, so I think it’s important to get some exposure and work my way up to the top.
“Rio was great, I absolutely loved it. I was very competitive and the guy I lost to went on to win gold.
“Apart from the one day of rain, the weather was nice and sunny, something you don’t get often, coming from Sunderland,” the welterweight joked.
Despite excellent progress, Kelly has remained level-headed with the thought of turning as a professional rank. “You only get on chance sometimes and I would rather begin my next chapter now and work my way up slowly to the top.”