'She is the beacon': Boxing star Charley set to shine on Olympic stage
- Credit: PA
Olympic dreams are closer to reality for a boxer "made in Lowestoft".
Charley Davison is boxing for Great Britain – with the talent, drive, dedication, determination and skills honed in her hometown gracing the world stage at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
The 27-year-old mother of three has her sights set on gold at the world's leading sporting spectacle, with the women's flyweight boxing category scheduled to begin with round of 32 fights this Sunday, July 25.
After arriving in Japan two Sundays ago for a preparation camp, the flyweight boxer is part of the 11-strong Team GB squad that moved into the Olympic Village in Tokyo this week alongside their sparring partners, coaches and support staff.
For Charley, the journey to Tokyo has marked a meteoric rise - and she is now relishing the biggest stage.
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A former clubmate of fellow Olympian Anthony Ogogo, Charley has been coached in Lowestoft by John Cremin and Frank Bacon since she eight.
As a youngster she was an undefeated European boxing champion, winning four national titles, a senior ABA title and a European gold medal.
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Charley represented England at junior level for the first time as a 16-year-old and would gain a youth world silver medal in 2011 as her first defeat came in the the world championships final.
Back then, the talented southpaw was sparring with future double Olympic champion Nicola Adams, but in April 2012 - just before the London 2012 Games - she stepped away from boxing to start a family with her partner Bruce in Lowestoft.
Son Arnell, daughter Amani and second son Amir soon followed, as Charley spent six years away from boxing.
Returning to the gym in 2018 with coaches John Cremin and Frank Bacon - who had moved with her to Attleborough BC from her first club Triple A in Lowestoft - coaxing Charley back, it was that successful return to training and competition that saw Charley win a senior England Boxing title and belt within a year.
Competing for Attleborough Boxing Club she became the Norfolk club’s first elite England champion in April 2019.
That led to an opportunity to join Great Britain’s Olympic boxing programme and in December 2019 she was added to the GB Boxing squad.
After securing her Tokyo ticket at the European qualifiers with an impressive silver earlier this year, Charley believes she has what it takes to fight for gold in Japan.
She said: "I've spent my lifetime dreaming of getting to the Olympics and I am really buzzing for it now.
"There is no pressure on me.
"I am determined and 100 per cent would love to bring home a gold medal.
“Before I get into that ring, all I think about is those three children.
"It is not just for me, it is for them as well.
"This could change my life as well as theirs if I medal."
Davison said it was “really emotional” when she said goodbye to her family at the end of June.
She will be away from them for over five weeks - the longest ever time that she has been away from the children - but is keeping in touch via video calls, and speaking with coaches John and Frank who "have always been there to support me".
When Charley steps into the ring this weekend, coach John Cremin will be proudly watching on - and then speaking to her on the phone straight after her bouts.
Cremin said: "We are all thrilled. Charley has done amazing and its a fantastic achievement to come back after all that time off - to get back in the GB squad and then into the Olympics.
"To achieve what she has done has never been seen before - she is the beacon.
"Bruce looks after the kids, he is a great guy, and it has allowed Charley to stay fully focused - as the goal is to have that gold medal around her neck.
"She has that determination and I firmly believe that Charley will be the best 51kg boxer in the world - amateur or professional.
"Charley is boxing for Great Britain - but made in Lowestoft."