Anthony Joshua sparring inspires Frazer Clarke

British super-heavyweight boxer Frazer Clarke
Frazer Clarke (left) took bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi
European Boxing Championships
Location: Kharkiv, Ukraine Dates: 16-24 June Coverage: 23 June, semi-finals, Live on BBC Red Button 12:30, 16:00 BST; 24 June, finals, Live on BBC Red Button 14:00 BST

Super-heavyweight Frazer Clarke believes sparring with Anthony Joshua can propel him to a gold medal in the European Boxing Championships.

The 25-year-old is among 13 British men in Ukraine for the championships, which will be held from 16-24 June.

"I've been sparring with Anthony for a long time; it gives you real confidence," said Clarke.

"If I can compete with Joshua, the best heavyweight in the world, I can compete with anyone else on the planet."

World heavyweight champion Joshua, a 2012 Olympic gold medallist, trains at GB Boxing's base in Sheffield - where his coach Rob McCracken also oversees the GB Olympic programme.

"I've been on the programme eight years now, but only now am I ready to go to the major championships and win a gold medal," said Clarke.

"By no stretch of the imagination is it going to be an easy task to win these Europeans.

"But the years of sparring with Joshua and Joe Joyce have put me in a great position to compete and go and be the number one."

The tournament in Kharkiv is also an opportunity to qualify for August's World Championships in Hamburg.

And although the 10 English boxers and three Scottish boxers will fight in their home nation's vest in Ukraine, top-eight finishes will claim quota places for Great Britain in Germany.

Only two Rio Olympians - Pat McCormack and Galal Yafai - are in the team, with most of their fellow Olympians having switched to the professional ranks.

For 10 of the British boxers in Ukraine, this event is their first taste of senior major international competition.

"We're looking for the experienced boxers to go and show that experience and we want the new boxers to show they have potential for the Tokyo Olympics," performance director McCracken told BBC Sport.

"There's some good talent coming through and this is how we develop them - by exposing them to the best in Europe and then the world.

"It's very early in the Olympic cycle, but we're trying to strengthen across all 10 weights."

GB boxers at the European Championships from 16-24 June:

Galal Yafai - Light-flyweight - 49kg - England; Niall Farrell - Flyweight - 52kg - England; Peter McGrail - Bantamweight - 56kg - England; Lee McGregor - Bantamweight - 56kg - Scotland; Calum French - Lightweight - 60kg - England; Luke McCormack - Light-welterweight - 64kg -England; Pat McCormack - Welterweight - 69kg - England; Ben Whittaker - Middleweight - 75kg - England; John Docherty - Middleweight - 75kg - Scotland; Tom Whittaker-Hart - Light-heavyweight - 81kg - England; Cheavon Clarke - Heavyweight - 91kg - England; Scott Forrest - Heavyweight - 91kg - Scotland; Frazer Clarke - Super-heavyweight - 91kg+ - England.

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