England call boosts Bridet’s fortunes

Lucas Ballinghall, left, faces Michael Dehamnia in a featherweight contest Picture: Ian Hargreaves

Ballingall’s in a hurry as Birmingham makes return in Pompey

Have your say

GREG BRIDET is bidding to put a difficult period behind him on England duty today.

Bridet has been given a call-up to represent his country as they take on France at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

The Heart of Portsmouth ace will be gunning to make an impression in that clash after a campaign of frustration and injury troubles.

Bridet went out of the England Boxing Elite Championships last year in controversial circumstances.

The reigning champion lost out in the preliminary round, despite giving his opponent two standing counts.

That dashed his hopes of making it to this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

More problems followed as the heavyweight had to undergo surgery on his right knuckle.

That left him sidelined for 10 weeks before returning to training at the end of August.

Now he is looking to bounce back from those problems with an impressive international showing.

HOP head coach, Q Shillingford, said: ‘It’s been a difficult time for Greg but he is a tough cookie.

‘He was disappointed with what happened but we knew he’d bounce back.

‘Now he has a chance to show what he can do.

‘Greg knows what he has to do and will not disappoint.’

Bridet has remained on the radar of GB bosses despite his disappointments last season.

That saw him selected recently to take part in a 10-day training camp in Kazakhstan.

The Kazakhs remain one of the world powerhouses of amateur boxing and also welcomed the China team.

Bridet has also been working with GB’s elite podium squad at the EIS in Sheffield ahead of the France international.

Shillingford said: ‘Greg is a determined athlete who puts everything into his training and grabs opportunities.

‘He learnt a lot in Kazakhstan and training with the podium squad is obviously great news.’