Sport

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



HSC 'appalling' blunder puts student results at risk

“I am angry for the students at what I have learnt this morning."

Council to continue improving water quality

Water restrictions put in place for Tweed.

Salt water is still effecting the Bray Park Weir.

Council isn't ready to change the date of Australia Day

Australian Flag.

Mayor says she'll have to consult indigenous elders.

Local Partners

Massive talent from little folk on show in Little Big Shots

Shane Jacobson has as much fun as his guests as wunderkinds show off their skills in Seven's new talent show.

‘I’m pissed off’: Bachelorette finally loses it

Matty is made take Elise on a date by her dad.

UNREST is brewing in the Bachelor mansion.

What's on the big screen this week

Domhnall Gleeson and Tom Cruise in a scene from American Made.

TOM Cruise is flying high in Doug Liman's drug drama American Made.

Bride and Prejudice's Chris reveals more family heartache

Grant and Chris feature on the TV series Bride & Prejudice. Supplied by Channel 7.

His dad’s health has dealt a massive blow to their happy life

Nicole's ready to bust out of Doctor Doctor's love triangle

Nicole da Silva stars in season two of Doctor Doctor.

New season gets a fresh injection of relationship dilemmas.

Residents fear sand mine sell out by State Minister

Sand mine opponents attend the Nambour Council Chambers.Cou

Further testing undertaken on site, despite claims of significance

199 home sites approved in Evans Head

The Evans Head Manufactured Home Estate plans. Zoran Architecture.

Manufactured Home estate approved near aerodrome

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry

Developer tears up couple's contract for new home

Jade and Edward Roberts were stung by the sunset clause on the first day of their honeymoon.

The developer has the right to do this under the sunset clause