Boxing: Reese Lynch determined to make most of Team GB debut

THIS time last year, few outside of the boxing world had any clue who Reese Lynch was.

However, his history-making exploits at the World Amateur Championships in November, becoming the first Scottish fighter ever to medal at the event, cemented his status as one of the most exciting young athletes this country has to offer.

Lynch’s bronze medal ensured he wrote himself into the record books but perhaps even more significantly, it saw the 20-year-old move his career onto the next level.

Promptly after returning from Belgrade, Lynch was invited to join the lauded GB boxing program – the same one that nurtured the likes of Anthony Joshua and Josh Taylor – and despite having only been a part of the program for two months so far, it has changed his life entirely.

“It’s been brilliant being part of the GB squad,” the Fauldhouse fighter says.

“This is where you need to be to get to events like the Olympics so it’s been a huge step for me.

“It’s made a massive difference; the training is great but the really huge thing is I’m now a full-time boxer.

“Before the Worlds, I was working with my brother – lifting and shifting things – so I was up at 6am to do a day’s work then going straight to the gym afterwards, so it was tough.

“To be boxing full-time now has made such a difference and I feel like I’m probably a better fighter already for it – I’m getting there anyway.”

Today, Lynch will make his first competitive appearance for GB, in the BOXAM tournament in Castellon in eastern Spain, and while it is not an event with the profile of the World Championships, Lynch goes in with the pressure of both making his GB debut and having a target on his back as a result of being a world medallist to contend with.

It is a pressure he is entirely undaunted by, however.

“It’s not a major competition but it’s still going to be a hard to win and it’ll be good to get back into the ring,” he says of this week’s event.

“I feel good and I’m excited to make my GB debut.

“Being part of GB means I’ll be on a bigger platform now and there probably is more pressure on me now with everyone knowing I’ve won that world medal but I thrive on pressure so that doesn’t bother me.

“I’d rather have people expecting me to be successful – I know I can do well so it doesn’t faze me having high expectations coming from other people.

“I want to win a medal this week but more than anything, I want my performance to be good because just starting off with GB, I want to make an impression.”

Lynch, perhaps surprisingly, does not hail from a family of boxers but it was his brother, a former Chelsea youth football player, who encouraged him into the sport.

His progress was rapid, picking up five Scottish titles to date but he has far loftier ambitions for the coming years.

Picking up silverware for Team Scotland at this summer’s Commonwealth Games is a major target, as is the European Championships before it turns his attention to the Olympic Games, which are now only just over two years away.

While it is futile to attempt to plan in any detail how a boxing career may pan out, Lynch hopes to enter the professional ranks following Paris 2024 and embark on a pro career, with the target of following in the footsteps of one of his heroes, Josh Taylor.

“My world medal has made me even hungrier because it’s given me the confidence that if I keep going on this track, I can do really well,” he says.

“I want to win medals – at the Europeans I’ve been close before so I want that and a Commonwealth Games medal would be a huge thing too, then look towards the Olympics. I feel like I want to rack the medals up before I turn pro.

“The aim is to go to Paris and then turn pro – that’s the plan anyway.

“It’s a big thing having Josh doing so well and showing what’s possible.

“He’s a south-paw like me too and I can pick up a lot when I watch him – he’s really smart so I can learn a lot from watching him.

“I feel like I can definitely challenge for world titles, and then hopefully become undisputed world champ just like Josh is, that’s definitely the target.”

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