GREG BRIDET has propelled himself into the Great Britain picture with a gutsy international showing.
The Heart of Portsmouth heavyweight went down to a brave split-decision points defeat as part of a GB clash against France in Sheffield.
The calibre of Bridet’s performance made a big impression on GB bosses, as he delivered a display which could easily have seen him get the verdict.
Now the 22-year-old is determined to keep himself on the radar of the sport’s amateur bosses, as he bids for a place on the GB Podium squad.
Bridet has now found himself training regularly at their base at the English Institute of Sport in Yorkshire.
The former News Sports Awards sportsman of the year also recently took part in a 10-day training camp in Kazakhstan.
And there are now two further international competitions on the horizon for the former ABA national champ, as he aims to nail down a full-time GB berth.
Success there would put Bridet in a strong position to make his Olympic dream reality.
HOP head coach Q Shillingford is delighted with the strides Bridet is making.
He said: ‘Greg has stepped up to the next level. There were a lot of eyes on him and he didn’t disappoint.
‘It was a close contest which could have gone either way, but we’ve no complaint at the outcome.
‘Team GB were delighted with his performance, though.
‘Greg is showing his strength and the fact he is handful for any opponent.
‘He has been up at GB getting ready for this and training non-stop for three months.
‘He is so focused and you can see the benefit of training all the time and at a high level with top coaches and boxers. We are proud of him as a club.’
The match-up with the French champion proved a contest which ebbed and flowed and it was a tight call in the final reckoning.
Bridet started powerfully in the first round as he boxed to instruction and fended off his rival’s pressure.
The second round proved a nip-and-tuck affair before Bridet saw his opponent come on strong over the final stanza.
Shillingford knew there was little in the contest – and that was a cause for celebration for Bridet.
He said: ‘Greg really took the Frenchman apart in the first round.
‘In the end he had to change his tactics because he wasn’t living with Greg.
‘He upped the pressure and came back into it in the second.
‘It was a close round but Greg was still very effective.
‘The Frenchman had his best round in the third and pinched that one, but we still felt Greg did enough.
‘Rob McCracken from GB said he thought he’d won it and wasn’t expecting such a strong performance.
‘That’s brilliant for Greg to hear and really has given him a boost.
‘He’s had a tough time with injury and a controversial decision last year.
‘But Greg has turned a negative into a positive and got his head down.
‘He rose to the occasion and it would be brilliant for him now to become the GB heavyweight preparing for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.’