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Frank Warren on Joshua, Sergio Martinez, Cotto, Murray

By Frank Warren

THE Brits stormed into action at the World Amateur Championships in Azerbaijan this week when they confirmed their medal potential for London 2012.

I've been impressed with the quality of boxing from the youngsters under performance director Robert McCracken as they recorded their best-ever medal haul.

Despite the recent so-called corruption scandal, the squad has focused on the job at hand to secure five definite places for the Olympics next year and three in the finals today.

Super-heavyweight Anthony Joshua, bantamweight Luke Campbell, light-welterweight Thomas Stalker and welterweight Fred Evans will all go for gold next year plus either Khalid Yafai or Andrew Selby, who may need to have a box-off for the flyweight slot.

The last three Olympic Games have produced three amateur stars in Audley Harrison, Amir Khan and James DeGale — but could Joshua be the next big name to emerge?

He's got the looks, he's young, most of all he can fight — plus he's in a glamour division.

At only 21, he pulled of an unbelievable win over the reigning Olympic and double world champion Roberto Cammarelle in Baku — arguably one of the greatest wins ever by a young British amateur.

Yesterday, he put in another big-hitting performance to stop the German champion Erik Pfeifer in the first round to get into the final today where he will face Azerbaijani Magomedrasul Medzhidov.

All today's finals will be live on BoxNation (Sky Platform Channel 456) from 10am.

EVEN though Sergio Martinez is one of the world's top pound-for-pound boxers, he could still find himself without a big fight next.

He had too much for Darren Barker last Saturday in Atlantic City.

Some Yanks felt Darren didn't want to know. That was harsh. I felt he wouldn't have enough to beat Martinez but he did well to stay there for 11 rounds. He did his best.

Martinez's big fight would be Manny Pacquiao but, at middleweight, he's far too big for the Filipino.

And he's too small to fight the likes of light-heavyweight Bernard Hopkins — even if it's made at catchweight.

MIGUEL COTTO will be without famed trainer Manny Steward in his corner when he takes on Antonio Margarito at Madison Square Garden on December 3.

Steward took on Cotto after he lost to Manny Pacquiao and helped him regain a world title in his next fight against Yuri Foreman — and then beat Ricardo Mayora.

Puerto Rican Cotto looks like he will go with unknown Cuban coach Pedro Luis Diaz.

THE Prime Minister and his wife Samantha hosted a great reception at Downing Street on Thursday for the UK v US Military teams who duked it out at the Royal Albert Hall last night.

All the UK boxers gave Sam a kiss on the cheek and she even put on some gloves for photos. What a gal!

JOHN MURRAY, who was involved in one of the fights of the year against Kevin Mitchell, gets a shot at WBA lightweight champion Brandon Rios on the undercard of Cotto v Margarito II.

The show will be at Madison Square Garden on December 3.

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User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by D-MiZe on 10-08-2011

Joshua lost by 1 pt in a fight that could've gone either way. I'm amazed how well he's done, I hope he's improved even more next year.

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