GB amateur boxer Iain Weaver turns professional

By Nabil HassanBBC Sport
Iain Weaver (right)

Bournemouth boxer Iain Weaver has left the Great Britain amateur squad to turn professional, and hopes to sign with promoter Frank Warren.

Weaver was overlooked for April's final Olympic qualifier and has decided to turn his back on the amateur ranks.

The 22-year-old plans to box at super-featherweight and hopes to have his first fight in September.

"I'm really excited by this next stage in my career, I think the pro ranks will suit me," Weaver told BBC Sport.

Weaver, from Ferndown, is still hurt by his omission from the team for the qualifiers in Turkey, with Sam Maxwell chosen in his place.

Maxwell was eventually beaten by Fatih Keles, meaning he also missed out on Olympic selection.

"I still feel a bit gutted and a bit hard done by to be honest," said Weaver.

"Sam boxed well but he didn't qualify did he? He didn't make the Olympics. He boxed well in the first fight but stopped the Russian (Albert Selimov - former world and European champion, ranked number one in the world) on a cut and then he went and got beaten quite comfortably by the Turk.

"You don't see me going to tournaments and getting beaten comfortably.

"I always either made the final or the semi-final. Now we don't have an English 60kg boxer at the Olympics [Scotland's Josh Taylor did qualify at lightweight for Great Britain though] and I believe either myself or Martin Ward would have qualified."

Weaver says he has not spoken to GB boxing coach Robert McCracken since being told he was not going to Turkey and has spent the past month resting and contemplating his future.

Weaver, who won silver at the 2010 European Amateur Championships in Moscow, believes he was left no choice but to leave the GB squad.

"Over the past month I've just had some time off, spent some time with my girlfriend and given my body a rest which is what I needed to do after four years of hard training," he said.

"I've not spoken to Rob. The trust has gone after not being selected.

"I spent the last four years winning tournaments only to miss out on selection for the qualifiers. I wouldn't be happy to stay on the squad for the next four years for the same thing to happen."

He added: "What I'm going to do now is turn professional and try and reach the heights in the pro game that I did in the amateur game and be a world champion."

Weaver plans to train at Al Smith's gym, alongside former British champion Matt Webb, but after speaking to several promoters including Ricky Hatton, he is leaning towards Warren.

"Frank has always been the biggest promoter over the past few years. He gets you the exposure you need and he gets you the fights," he added.

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