He is the only boxer from the Seychelles to have qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games after edging out Kenyan Denis Okoth in the quarter-finals at the AIBA African Olympic Qualifying Event in Casablanca, Morocco, and has his eyes firmly set on writing his name in the pages of sporting history this summer. Since booking his place to the biggest show on earth he has joined up with the AIBA Road to London part II Program in Cardiff in order to give himself the best possible preparation for these Olympic Games. With some of the best coaches around in the Welsh capital, he is training in the most professional of environments before his challenge for honours in the tough Lightweight category.
Born in 1993 and having celebrated his 19th birthday just last May, the young prodigy from the archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean has been trained since his youth by former AIBA World Boxing Championships quarter-finalist Jerry Legras, who was one of the most successful boxers to ever come out from the Seychelles. Despite its small population spread over such a vast area, the country has always had some exciting competitors and is considered one of Africa's best boxing nations.
Allisop took up the sport at the age of twelve and made his international debut at 17 at the Danas Pozniakas Youth Memorial Tournament in Vilnius, Lithuania, taking a valuable bronze as the sole African boxer in the competition. This medal was surely as sign of things to come from this determined fighter.
Named in the national squad for the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships Baku 2010, the qualifying event for the first ever edition of the Youth Olympic Games, he was unfortunate to miss the tournament through injury. After his recovery, the impressive orthodox fighter secured a hard-fought silver medal in the first African Youth Games where he was defeated in the final by local favourite Malek Said of Morocco following a close contest.
The 2010 African Cup of Nations in Algiers saw Allisop battling it out with elite boxers for the very first time in his career. He found himself on the losing side more often than not in the Algerian capital, but his experience in this tournament paved the way for him to go on and win the 2011 Indian Ocean Islands Games in some style. On his route to claiming gold at the multi-sports event, the exceedingly confident teenager defeated Bruno Julie, the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games bronze medallist from Mauritius.
In the first preliminary round at the AIBA World Boxing Championships Baku 2011, the eager Allisop lost to the experienced Thai and Beijing Olympian Saylom Ardee to cut his stay in the Azeri capital short. This year though, with added maturity in his game, the Seychellois will be seeking to make 2012 a defining one for himself.
With AIBA working hard to support athletes from developing countries through the AIBA Road to Dream program, Andrique Allisop was once again invited to the Welsh capital for the latest instalment of the initiative. During the first three-week training camp which was held in February, he showed a tremendous appetite to learn, trained extremely hard and took on board all the advices he was given. He then went on to capture the Olympic quota place at the AIBA African Olympic Qualifying Event in Casablanca by defeating Senegal's Moctar Samb and Kenya's Denis Okoth to advance to the semi-finals.
Allisop is now almost through the first week of the AIBA Road to London part II program which is being led by Head Coach Tom Coulter, former USA Boxing Olympic Head Coach, and his Italian Assistant Carmine 'Nino' Fracasso. There are now high hopes that the talented young man from the Seychelles can build on such an impressive start to his career amongst the elite boxers with a medal on the biggest stage of all.
Copyright © 2012 AIBA http://www.aiba.org