Joe Cordina confident of Olympic place after European gold

Joe Cordina
Cordina beat the number one seed on his way to winning gold

Boxer Joe Cordina says his European Championship gold medal has given him renewed confidence of securing a place at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The 23-year-old lightweight, who won Commonwealth bronze last year, beat Georgia's Otar Eranosyan on points.

Victory assured him a place at October's World Championship in Doha, where the top three in each weight category will qualify for the Olympics.

"This gold medal shows I'm heading in the right direction," he said.

"I've been to a few major championships now. I was quite young before and didn't have the confidence.

"But after the Commonwealth Games I started believing in myself."

Wales' Cordina wins Euro boxing gold for GB

Among Cordina's five victims on his way to gold in Bulgaria was former world champion number one seed Domenico Valentino, beaten by technical knockout in round one.

The final against Eranosyan was an altogether tougher encounter, where Cordina's superior movement allowed him to evade his opponent's close-quarters tactics to claim Great Britain's only gold.

"The first two rounds were very tough, but I thought I started to bring it back," said the Cardiff boxer.

"The third round I thought I got the better of him because I felt he wasn't landing clean shots on me. I thought I was landing the cleaner shots.

"I'm glad I got the win and I thought I fully deserved it.

"Obviously the worlds is a very hard tournament and I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully I can get in the last three and qualify for the Olympics.

"The target was gold here and that's what it is in Doha too. I'll have a two-week break now and then come back recharged and then bring back a world medal."

Britain's other finalist in Bulgaria - Harvey Horn, Muhammad Ali, Qais Ashfaq and Pat McCormack - all had to settle for silver after losing in the final.

The final tally of six medals was made-up by a bronze for Joshua Buatsi in the light-heavyweight division.

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