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Olympic boxing hopeful Johan Linde can’t wait for shot at Olympic glory

Olympic boxing hopeful Johan Linde can’t wait for shot at Olympic glory | Herald Sun.

 

OLYMPIC boxing hopeful Johan Linde won’t let tensions in the Australian boxing team distract him from his gold medal dream.

The South Australian super heavyweight, in lockdown in Canberra, is aware of controversies surrounding the national boxing squad but is firmly focussed on his own preparation.

Last week medal prospect Damien Hooper, from Queensland, was removed from the camp after a series of behavioural breaches involving coaches and fellow squad members.

“These things can happen, but we’re all assuming he’s (Hooper) going to be back pretty soon,” Linde said.

“I was hoping to get back to Adelaide before we left but they (Australian coaches) have been pretty strict on our movements.

“We’re effectively in lockdown until we get on the plane.”
Even before the elite camp began Australia boxing coach Don Abnett called on NSW schoolboy heavyweight Jai Opetaia to put an end to their feud and join his teammates at the Australian Institute of Sport.

The 16-year-old, who had been training in the US with his father, only agreed to rejoin the camp this week.

Linde, who has taken unpaid leave from his job with the SA Department of Treasury and Finance, is one of the oldest fighters on the team but is still a novice at the highest level of the sport.

The 29-year-old faced highly-rated Englishman Anthony Joshua in Lithuania recently and took a number of hard fought lessons from the defeat.

“It was a very tough fight but I can’t wait to fight him again,” Linde said.

“I’ve taken a lot away from it given my relative inexperience at this level.

“The dream would be to take him on in an Olympic final fighting for a gold medal and that’s what I want.”

Joshua is ranked second in the world after losing a controversial decision to local fighter Magomedrasul Majidov in the final of the world championships in Azerbaijan last year.

Linde secured an Olympic berth with a shock knockout in March of Tongan Uaine Fa in the first round of the Oceania qualifying final.

The supremely fit fighter and economics graduate has recently completed a whirlwind world tour of tournaments and training.

“We trained in China which went great and then we went to Thailand but I got a fair dose of Bangkok belly.

“I won silver in a tournament in Serbia and then picked up a bronze in Lithuania.”

The Olympic boxing team leaves for Northern Ireland on July 16 to acclimatise and heads to the Olympic village a week later.

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