After a few days at home, the 11 boxers who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics will be formally unveiled as Olympians at a team media day next week. For the group, who all earned their spots via the European Olympic qualifying tournament in Paris this week, life is about to change.
It is the dream of everyone who enters the Team GB gym at Sheffield to make it to an Olympics. The next step is to make it to the podium, which results in their picture being put up on the hall of fame the circles the top of the walls.
It would be a surprise if this team did not have at least a few medals in it. That could spark a new golden age for British boxing, much as the success of Anthony Joshua, Luke Campbell and Nicola Adams at the London Olympics did.
Eleven is the most any nation has qualified for the Olympics, an honor that Great Britain shares with Uzbekistan, although that nation relied on some places being passed on based on world ranking due to the final world qualifier being scrapped. Coming through Europe, has traditionally been the toughest qualifying section too.
Of the 11, Pat McCormack, the welterweight, and Lauren Price, the middleweight, are set to be seeded No 1, which will be a bonus when it comes to avoiding other seeded boxers and potentially getting a bye through the first round. Another five of them could be seeded.
Britain were not the only stand-out nation. Russia qualified ten boxers, although they will be officially competing as neutral athletes in Tokyo, Ireland has seven, including Kellie Harrington, who looks likely to be the No 1 seed at lightweight. Turkey has four boxers, but that included two women likely to be No 1 seeds, Buse Naz Cakiroglu and the exceptional 22-year-old welterweight Busenaz Surmeneli. Turkey has never won an Olympic gold medal in boxing and had never before qualified a woman boxer.
As we build up to any Olympics, attention will understandably be drawn to who will make a good professional. Back in the day, promoters and talent scouts would just turn up at an Olympics and see boxers for the first time. Now, planning is a lot deeper.
Oleksandr Khyzhniak, of Ukraine, not only has a wonderful pro style but will be the man everyone wants to avoid in the middleweight draw. The 25-year-old won gold at the World Championships in Hamburg but did not defend that title as Ukraine boycotted the 2019 event in Russia after that nation annexed Crimea.
In his absence, Gleb Bakshi, of Russia, claimed the gold medal. Khyzhniak got the chance of revenge in Paris and took it with both hands, rushing out at the sound of the opening bell and staying on Bakshi’s chest for the entire three rounds.
It would be wrong to write off Khyzhniak as just a pressure fighter, though. That certainly is the main part of his game, but he has serious power and can box too. There will be no shortage of offers for him come August.
The standard at the European qualifiers was extraordinarily high. There are going to be no soft medals in August and the tournament could be the launchpad of some very exciting careers.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.