Caroline Dubois is the sister of professional heavyweight Daniel

British teenager Caroline Dubois won in the first round of the Olympic qualifying event at London’s Copper Box Arena.

The 19-year-old, fighting at senior level for the first time, defeated Ala Staradub of Belarus.

She will face Finland’s Mira Potkonen, who won lightweight bronze at the 2016 Rio Games, in the next round.

“I give myself a ‘C’ for that performance, but for the first fight it was OK,” Dubois told BBC Sport.

Dubois, from London, was unbeaten in the junior ranks and was named as the BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year in 2019.

She is the sister of heavyweight Daniel Dubois, who is unbeaten in 14 professional bouts.

On facing Potkonen, the number one seed, Dubois said: “Everyone knows about her.

“She’s only got two hands, one brain and two legs. To be the best you’ve got to beat the best, and I believe I’m the best.”

Great Britain super-heavyweight Frazer Clarke is also through after his opponent, Italian Clemente Russo, pulled out just before the bout was scheduled to begin.

Russo, twice an Olympic silver medallist, blamed “bad digestion”.

Clarke, a former sparring partner of British world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, is making his third attempt to reach an Olympics, after missing out in 2012 and 2016.

Analysis – Boxers are used to unpredictable situations

BBC boxing correspondent Mike Costello

The attendances here for the first two sessions of competition amounted to just a few dozen, with the numbers swelled by boxers and coaches supporting their team-mates.

The turnout is not a surprise – and is unlikely to be solely related to coronavirus health fears. Boxers at this level become used to competing in sparsely-populated arenas at qualifying events, even with Olympic places at stake.

For even the most experienced competitors, the build-up has been a test of mental strength, dealing with the uncertainty emphasised by the recent postponement of the Americas qualifier, which was scheduled to start in Argentina later this month.

When the governing body of Olympic boxing, AIBA, was suspended by the IOC last May, there were grave fears that boxing would be expelled from the Games in Tokyo. So, in a sense, the boxers harbouring Olympic dreams have become used to dealing with unpredictable situations.

In the mixed zone here, the reaction among them has generally been one of ‘controlling the controllables’. They have a medical every time they box, with the added measure here of a temperature check. The rest, they know, is up to them.

Caroline Dubois: ‘I pretended to be a boy called Colin so I could box’


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