BOXING: Carl boosts Olympic bid by moving up

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Carl Fail has moved up to middleweight to boost his Olympic chances.

At welterweight, his route to Tokyo was blocked by Pat McCormack.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist looks to be a shoo-in for the qualifying events – and that’s led Fail to have a rethink.

By his own admission, the 21-year-old from Far Cotton ABC in Northampton struggles to squeeze his 6ft 2ins frame down to 69kgs, but he said: “It was all about opportunities.

“Pat has been there and done it. He’s a top international and deserved to be No 1. It was always going to be a tough ask to overtake him, but now Ben Whittaker has moved up to light-heavyweight, middleweight has really opened up.

“I went to see (Great Britain head coach) Rob (McCracken) and asked his opinion on me moving up to 75kgs.

“He said he had been thinking about it for a few months and that with my ability, I should be aiming for the Olympics.

“I’m hoping to be sent to the majors and there’s no reason why I can’t get to the Olympics.”

Fail has had an up-and-down time since making his breakthrough in 2016, earning a place in the Great Britain set up by winning the Elites, Tri Nations and Great Britain championships.

He was then sidelined for much of last year. He broke an finger on his right hand, underwent eye surgery and had a hip injury.

Fail made a stunning return to action at the European under-22 championships in Bulgaria in April. He won silver and it really should have been gold.

He has also made his World Boxing Series debut recently, schooling Kevin Bergotal (France Fighting Roosters) and then showing bravery in defeat to Aslanbek Shymbergenov (Astana Arlans).

“That was five tough rounds,” he said of the Shymbergenov fight in the semi finals, “and I proved I’ve got a chin!

“I gave it everything and I loved being in there with a world-class fighter.”

The move up to middleweight is bad news for Fail’s twin brother Ben, beaten in this year’s Elite final by Jordan Reynolds.

“I really didn’t want to step on Ben’s toes,” said Fail. “But it would be crazy not to make the move because it’s my brother’s weight.

“I had to do what’s best for me.

“Ben is gutted because it makes it harder for him to get into the Great Britain squad, but he’s behind me all the way.”

FAR COTTON ABC had two fighters in action at Coventry last Friday.

Mason Fury took on Louis Hamil of Christ the King Boxing Club - and Fury emerged with the victory on a unanimous decision.

It was the Far Cotton boxer’s fifth win for his club and a great way to celebrate his 12th birthday.

The only downside of the contest was the referee, who continually accused Fury of holding and going low at times.

Far Cotton head coach John Daly was disappointed with the warnings and expressed his frustration to the referee in the third round.

However, it mattered not as Fury claimed a convincing success.

Another Far Cotton ace, Alfie Mays, topped the bill at the open-air show and he put up a cracking fight against Billy Gavin of Northfield ABC.

But Mays was to lose the fight on a split decision.

Far Cotton coach Driton Muhaxheri said: “John Daly, myself and others thought that Alfie won that fight.

“However, John feels that Alfie wasn’t rewarded with the win due to John telling off the referee who was judging the fight.

“Alfie will bounce back after being on the end of a poor decision.

“He is due to box in East Midland Box Cup which is due to take place at the end of this month and he can get back to winning ways.”