ABS chief welcomes extra cash for boxing but wants more at grassroots

Amateur Boxing Scotland chairman Richard Thomas has welcomed the decision by UK Sport to increase boxing’s budget for the 2016 Olympic funding programme.

Boxing is undoubtedly one of the main beneficiaries for the Olympic Games in Brazil in four years’ time, a decision to increase the budget by more than £4 million as a result of London’s success when five medals were achieved for Team GB – three of those being gold.

With a budget now standing at £13.8m, Thomas said: “I am absolutely delighted. London was the best Olympic performance in 105 years and money has to go into sport to produce medals.

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“The thing with the GB money is that it’s for elite athletes and 20 podium athletes at that. Where my concern lies is how do you get the 20? It’s money at grassroots level is where it happens and if there can be some sort of appreciation for what’s done at grassroots then even better.”

One local fighter who fought his way into the Olympics was Lochend boxer Josh Taylor, but he was a late call for London and most of his development occurred on home soil. Thomas added: “There is a gap unfortunately. At the end of the day it needs to be sustainable and if you forget the sauce then it will dry out.

“It was no secret Josh Taylor made it to the Olympic Games and was an athlete trained by our programme and was only on the GB one for 12 weeks.”