London 2012 - Young: Jamaican but a Londoner

Sat, 28 Apr 11:22:00 2012

Hemight be set to be teammates with the fastest man on the planet at this summer’s Olympics but boxer Jovan Young is keen to remind everyone he is a London boy at heart.

2011 Boxing gloves ring generic - 0

The 27-year-old, who fights at light heavyweight or middleweight, was born and raised in Lewisham, turning to boxing five years ago after being stabbed twice in the back during a street fight.

However, despite being crowned South London champion three times and London champion once, Young found opportunities with England and Britain few and far between.

This led to Young representing the same nation as sprinter Usain Bolt, Jamaica, his parents and grandparents hailing from the island, and he hasn't looked back since.

He won bronze at the 2010 Caribbean and Central American International competition, gold at last year's Jamaican National Championships and silver at the Pan American test event.

Young is now focussed on securing a spot in Jamaica's squad for London 2012, the Fitzroy Lodge Amateur Boxing Club member eager to have the best of both worlds come the summer.

"When you are an Olympic athlete not making it is not an option, you don't allow that to enter your head, it just isn't an option not making it," said Young.

"The Games are in London so the main aim for me is medalling in my city – that is what I want to do more than anything. I am born and raised in London so it is that extra incentive for me because it is my city.

"For my teammates that is obviously the goal too and I am Jamaican too but I live here, I was raised here, so for me there is that little bit more incentive.

"Opportunities presented themselves to box for Jamaica and I had to make a choice. I am happy with the choice I made and I am excited about what is to come.

"But I hope the crowd know I am a London boy and I am more than happy to remind them so they get behind me all the same and cheer me on to that medal."

Young's first attempt at securing an Olympic light heavyweight spot at the World Championships last year didn't go according to plan as lost his first bout to Ukraine's Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

But, with his next qualifying event fast approaching in Brazil next month, Young isn't about to let the chance to strut his stuff in front of his home city slip through his fingers a second time.

"There is pressure but you have got to channel it," he added. "I box for Jamaica internationally and it has allowed me to go to some big competitions, the World Championships, Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games.

"So right now I just want to add the Olympics to that and I am happy with how everything is going. My next qualifier is in Brazil in May and I am looking forward to it and confident that I can get the job done."

Sportsbeat / Eurosport

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