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In the Footsteps of Pacquiao: Tom Welland's Olympic Dream Takes Shape

19-year-old featherweight boxer Tom Welland showcased his prowess in the ring as he outpointed Marvin Solano over six rounds at London's esteemed York Hall on Friday night. Despite his professional success, Welland harbors a fervent desire to don the amateur vest once again and compete at the Olympic Games in Paris this summer.



Tom Welland


Welland, boasting an undefeated record of 4 wins, including 2 knockouts, had a stellar amateur career, excelling in the 57kg category and clinching multiple championships while representing England on numerous occasions. However, facing a stagnation in his progress with Team GB, Welland began to fear that his dream of competing at the Paris Games was slipping away.


Determined not to let his aspirations fade, Welland turned to explore his Filipino heritage, inspired by his mother's roots in Cebu, Philippines. His dual nationality presented him with a new avenue for potential Olympic qualification.


Last year, Welland embarked on a journey to the Philippines, participating in a rigorous training camp with the Olympic squad in the mountains of Baguio. The goal was to secure a spot at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, in September, with a medal-winning performance guaranteeing him a place in Paris.


Although only 18 at the time, Welland impressed and earned the number two position in the squad, but returned home without a definite assurance of Olympic participation. Amidst uncertainties surrounding the International Olympic Committee's governance of the sport, Welland opted to capitalize on a rule allowing professional fighters to compete at the Olympics, signing a professional deal with Wasserman and making his debut last November.


Crucially, Welland ensured a clause in his contract allowing him to compete in the Olympics if the opportunity arose. With the final Olympic qualifier in Bangkok just six weeks away, Welland remains hopeful, acknowledging the possibility of pausing his professional career for the chance to compete on the Olympic stage once again.

"In the Footsteps of Pacquiao: Tom Welland's Olympic Dream Takes Shape

This pursuit is not merely strategic but deeply rooted in Welland's pride for his background. He envisions leveraging his Filipino heritage to engage the support of the Filipino community, both in the UK and the Philippines, aiming to organize a charity event featuring British-based Filipino sporting figures.

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