AIBA's Road to London boxers flex muscles for London 2012 at Cardiff camp
Friday, 06 July 2012
July 6 – The International Boxing Association (AIBA) have launched their Road to London initiative in Cardiff, which is a special training camp open to disadvantaged countries sending boxers to the Olympics.
A total of 44 boxers from 25 countries, consisting of 40 men and four women, have been invited by AIBA to participate in the camp which runs until July 24, three days before the Opening Ceremony of London 2012.
The boxers are joined by 37 coaches, with local transportation, accommodation, meals and training costs covered by AIBA.
The camp follows the first Road to London training camp, attended by 62 boxers, which was held in Cardiff during February and March this year.
This month's training camp will be managed by Thomas Coulter, the former Team USA Olympic head coach, alongside his Italian assistant Carmine "Nino" Fracasso.
"As one of AIBA's development projects, the...programme follows the ideals of the Olympic Movement by contributing to the social improvement of boxers and the dream of being competitive at AIBA's main international events and Olympic Games," said AIBA President and International Olympic Committee (IOC) member CK Wu.
"It is also a tool to educate the boxers and help them to fight against violence, poverty, illiteracy and any other social problem in their country."
Cameroon has four boxers in Cardiff, including the highly rated African Games super heavyweight champion Blaise Yepmou Mendouo, while the Ghanaian team has sent two boxers, including the talented heavyweight Maxwell Amponsah (pictured top, right).
Also in the Welsh capital is Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Louis Richarno Colin of Mauritius.
Colombia's three Olympians, Jeysson Antonio Monroy Varela, Cesar Andres Villarraga Aldana and Eduar Antonio Marriaga Campo are also at the camp.
Female boxers, flyweight Siona Fatima Fernandes and the lightweight Alexis Pritchard (pictured above), have travelled to Cardiff from New Zealand to finalise their Olympic preperations.
The duo are the only two Kiwi boxers at London 2012, where the women's version of the sport will make its debut on the Olympic programme.
All participants are now expected to sweat it out at the three week training camp before the Olympic boxing competition begins at ExCel on July 28.
February 2012: AIBA Road to London programme gets underway in Cardiff
August 2010: Cardiff chosen as final venue for AIBA Road to London programme