Boxing: Simmons is ready for his toughest test

LEITH VICTORIA boxer Steve Simmons flies out to Turkey tomorrow for what he expects to be his hardest-ever test at international level.

The Capital heavyweight, will fight for Great Britain in the Priministry Multi-nations championships in Ankara and he said: "This is going to be my toughest international tournament on an individual basis. The competition includes some of Eastern Europe's hardest heavyweights."

And there is added pressure on Simmons as his future GB prospects are on the line.

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He added: "My showing this time around will impact on my chances of boxing for Britain in the Olympic Games in 2012.

"My ring form recently has dipped – I didn't look too clever getting beaten by a Kenyan – who I had previously beaten – last time out. So I am aiming to claw myself back into being the first-choice British Olympic heavyweight."

Simmons is hoping he will be helped to reach his goal by a strong recent training programme.

He said: "I have just finished some terrific sparring sessions with world super-middleweight champion Carl Froch so I'm fired up for my first fight, possibly on Thursday depending on the draw, in Ankara."

Meanwhile, Lochend Boxing Club coach Terry McCormack has confirmed that recently-crowned Scottish youth featherweight champion Kevin Skey has been chosen to box for Scotland in Cardiff in the British championships next month.

And the club's senior welterweight, Tommy Philbin, will be in action on 14 April against beaten Scottish welterweight finalist Ryan Hamilton, from Bannockburn. McCormack said: "This is a warm up for Philbin clashing with George Thompson, who eliminated him in the Scottish semi-finals."

• AMATEUR Boxing Scotland have confirmed that the cream of English and Welsh Schoolboy boxers will clash with Scotland in the Great Britain Schoolboy championships in Kirkcaldy on 14-15 May.