Trip home good for prep

Controversial Australian boxer Damien Hooper was all smiles at a press conference in London yesterday ahead of his Olympic debut.
Controversial Australian boxer Damien Hooper was all smiles at a press conference in London yesterday ahead of his Olympic debut. Jeff Gross

DALBY boxer Damien Hooper insists his controversial exit from a team training camp last month was in the best interests of his Olympic preparation.

The 20-year-old light heavyweight was sent home from the team's Canberra training camp following a series of run-ins with coaches and teammates.

Boxing Australia said at the time that Hooper could only return when he learned "reasonable standards of good manners and respect" toward the rest of the boxing team.

But Hooper told reporters in London yesterday that it was his decision to leave as he wanted to clear his head and focus on his Olympic preparation at home.

"I felt at that time that is where I needed to be because I wanted to make everything perfect 'cause of coming into London," he said.

"I asked the coach as a request (to leave) and he sort of disagreed with me. He thought it was best for me to stay there and basically from there we made the best decision for me to go home. So that is it."

Hooper said any issues within the 12-strong Australian boxing squad had been resolved at a pre-Games training session in Northern Ireland.

"We just got back from Ireland and we all just bonded and we are excited to be here and be a part of this and I am excited personally," he said.

"It is my first ever Olympics. So it is a good experience."

Hooper is no stranger to controversy, having also been sent home early from the 2010 Commonwealth Games after an alleged indiscretion in front of an official.

But he is ranked second in the world in the light heavyweight division and is widely regarded as Australia's best chance of a boxing medal since 1988.

And Hooper said he was enjoying the limelight that comes from that expectation.

"I kind of like the attention I am getting so far," he said.

"I just can't wait to get into a ring and show everyone my ability and my skills and I can't wait to fight."

Topics:  damien hooper london olympics

League legend and youth leaders tackling history on the Tweed

CULTURE CLUB: Preston Campbell will be on the Tweed for the BLACK community event from this Friday.

Theirs is a story vital for all Australians to understand

Turning the page on Tweed

GOOD READ: Editor Michael DeGood at home with his soon to be released book of the Tweed Coast

Learn more about the history of the Tweed.

A callout for new croquet players

The Murwillumbah Croquet Club is calling for new members.

Here's a new sport to try.

Local Partners

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Bindi Irwin named in MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals