Four years ago, the England boxing team flew home from the Gold Coast in Australia with seven gold medals.
Three of those were won by fighter on the Probellum Roster – Peter McGrail, Pat McCormack and Lisa Whiteside.
And as the 2022 Commonwealth Games, being held in Birmingham, heads towards the medal matchups, here, the trio reflect on their success from Down Under in 2018.
Won 4:1 vs Kurt Walker (IRE)
“We were out in Australia for about four weeks in total,” McGrail, who is 5-0 as a professional, recalls.
“First, we went to Brisbane for a training camp which was good.
“Australia is sick, isn’t it? My girlfriend came out to watch the tournament and the gold medal got me a lot more recognition than the other medals I’d won.
“I got gold at the Europeans in Ukraine the year before, beating the Ukrainian in the final but only my family and the die-hard boxing fans knew about it.
“It was a lot easier to win the Commonwealth Games but because they were shown on the BBC, everybody was watching.”
McGrail added: “I boxed Kurt Walker in the final and he is a good fighter. Tall, rangy, awkward and a decent boxer. Ireland always has a good team, but I got my tactics right on the day and took the gold.
“I took my medal down to a local school, recently, to show the kids. They loved it and were all touching it.”
Won 5:0 vs Aidan Walsh (NIR)
“It meant a lot to me at the time but your goals change,” McCormack told Probellum.com, ahead of his demolition of Dmitri Trenel last weekend.
“But my Mum and Auntie came out to watch me win gold, so it was they are unbelievable memories.
“It was the first time I’d ever been to Australia; it’s unbelievable out there.”
“A lot of the squad were on GB with me, and a few got medals at the European Championships recently, so hopefully they can be winning a few golds for England.”
Won 5:0 vs Carly McNaul (NIR)
“It was an amazing experience I had at the Commonwealth Games,” Whiteside, who made her ring return in Newcastle, buzzed.
“It was a bit of a worry going into the semi-finals because I was facing the home girl and I was thinking: ‘How’s this going to go?’
“I just went out there and pushed it as much as I could, and I got the decision.
“I went into the final relaxed and my coach, Gary Hale said: ‘Now is the time to enjoy it’. I embraced being in the final because I knew I wouldn’t be in another Commonwealth Games final. It was the pinnacle of my career.”
“What a team we had!” she added.
“Everyone supported each other and we pushed each other. My main sparring partner for the Games was Galal Yafai, who also won a gold.”
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