Islington boxer hopes Serbia tournament can propel her into Great Britain squad

Cherrelle Brown (left) in action on Islington BC's dinner show in November

Cherrelle Brown (left) in action on Islington BC's dinner show in November - Credit: Archant

Islington BC’s Cherrelle Brown is aiming to follow the trail blazed by two world silver medallists after being selected for the prestigious Nations Cup.

The Islington light-welterweight, who made her England debut just two months ago in Denmark, has been called up to box for her country again at the tournament in Novi Sad, Serbia, in January.

The last Nations Cup featured two English fighters – Sandy Ryan and Lisa Whiteside – both of whom have since gone on to reach finals at the World Championships in South Korea.

And Brown is hopeful that the 2015 tournament, which takes place from January 11 to 17, can provide her with a similar platform to force her way into the reckoning for the Great Britain squad.

“Serbia seems to be a kind of test to see whether you can step up to that level,” Brown told the Gazette. “Girls who have gone to the Nations Cup and done well tend to get a place in the GB squad.

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“Sandy Ryan and Lisa Whiteside boxed in this tournament last year, so this is a real big one for me, hopefully the start of things to come and I’m up for it.

“I’ll give it all I have and hopefully I can make my club, my coaches and my family proud. In Denmark hearing the national anthem made me quite emotional and hopefully I’ll get a chance to sing it again this time.

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“I’m going to box another opponent who’s been training as hard as me, but I’m not really bothered about who that is – I’m just determined to go out there and get on the podium.”

Brown, along with Islington team-mate Hazel Gale, had a trial for the GB squad earlier this month and has now been invited back to Sheffield for a training camp over the weekend of January 2-4.

The only downside of Brown’s call-up to the nine-woman England team is that it looks likely to rule her out of the Golden Girls Box Cup in Sweden, which will feature a strong Islington contingent, at around the same time.

“I was told I might be in the running for the Nations Cup but I still wasn’t expecting it,” said the 28-year-old. “If I hadn’t been picked I was going to box for the club in the Golden Girls Box Cup.

“So I would have been training for a tournament over Christmas anyway and that’s not a big deal. I’ll have Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day off and then I’m back in the gym.

“I’m kind of upset not to be going to Sweden because I love to represent my club, but this is another great opportunity to box for my country and I want to make the most of it.”

Brown will not be the only representative of the Hazellville Road club in Serbia next month – the tournament also features Commonwealth Games boxer Valerian ‘The Dame’ Spicer, who is part of the Dominica squad.

Spicer is competing in the lightweight category, which is just as well for Brown as that eliminates the possibility of facing her friend and team-mate in the ring.

“It’ll be nice to see a familiar face around, even though she’s obviously not part of the same camp,” added Brown.

“I’m going to wait until she retires before I go down to 60kg. She’s like a sister to me and it’d be too emotional to box against her.”

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