Introducing...the next Anthony Joshua, in Sheffield

AJ in the ring
AJ in the ring
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Sheffield fight fans will get the chance tomorrow to see future Olympians perform and maybe even the next Anthony Joshua, in their city.

The EIS stages the GB Boxing Championships on Thursday evening, and will give ringside supporters the chance to witness how the Olympic boxing programme is progressing with just under two years to go until the next Games in Tokyo.

Anthony Joshua, role model

Anthony Joshua, role model

The contest pits together GB programme fighters against challengers bidding to take their place in Japan.

And amongst them might be a diamond-in-the making...a new AJ.

Joshua only began boxing as an 18-year-old when his cousin suggested he picked up the gloves.

Within three years his chain of explosive wins earned him a place on the GB Boxing squad.

EIS boxing event

EIS boxing event

He enjoyed amazing success, culminating in being crowned the 2012 Super Heavyweight London Olympic Gold Medalist.

He is now the darling of the nation and the unified world heavyweight champion.

Rob McCracken, the GB Performance Director who has guided him on his path, said AJ had only had around 20 months at international level before striking gold.

"Like in Anthony's case, the situation is wide open for boxers who can impress and ultimately qualify for the Olympics.

"The Sheffield tournament is really important for those who are on the programme and those who want to get on it. It serves as a chance to see where they are all at.

"AJ was assessed after all of his tournaments, including when he won the GB championships (2010.)

"He flourished, stepped up the levels and really believed in himself and that is what we are looking for from boxers competing on Thursday.

The EIS-trained crop are a young crew, aged 18 onwards.

The card is:
51kg Stephanie Kernachan (SCOT) v Helen Jones (WALES)
57kg Raven Chapman (GB) v Victoria Glover (SCOT)
64kg Sean Spence (SCOT) v Elliott Whale (ENG)
60kg Hannan Robinson (GB) v Kimberly Rowe (ENG)
75kg Lewis Richardson (GB) v Ramtin Musah (ENG)
Youth 51kg Chloe Watson (GB) v Simran Kaur (ENG)
69kg Harris Akbar (GB) v Tyler Jolly (SCOT)
75kg Kerry Davies (GB) v Elena Narozanski (ENG)
69kg Omarah Taylor (GB) v Laura Stevens (ENG)
52kg Kiaran MacDonald v Matthew McHale (SCOT)
81kg George Crotty (GB) v Patrick Allen-Cripps (ENG)
91+kg Courtney Bennet (ENG) v Nic Campbell (SCOT)

Bradford boxer Akbar is one of the rising stars of the GB set-up - he is tipped to catch the eye on Thursday.

Tickets are still available, priced £10, at www.ticketsdirect.org.uk/gbchamps.