GWENT fighter Rosie Eccles has won a silver medal at the World Boxing Cup in Cologne.

The 27-year-old, who will go for gold at the Paris Olympics next year, made it to the welterweight final in Germany on Tuesday but she was beaten via a unanimous decision by Germany’s Stefanie von Berge.

Fellow Welsh boxers Garan Croft and Taylor Bevan also came away with medals.

Like Eccles, Croft had to settle for silver after he was narrowly beaten by Germany’s Magomed Schachidov via a 3:2 split in the light-middleweight final.

But, after competing in his fourth bout in as many days, Bevan was crowned light-heavyweight champion after defeating Cuba’s Jose Napoles via a 3:2 split decision.

The three Welsh fighters were among 15 men and women selected by GB Boxing to compete in the inaugural World Boxing Cup event.

The new competition series introduced by the new international federation, World Boxing, saw male and female boxers accrue ranking points over several stages of competition throughout the calendar year. It culminated in this week’s year-end finals event when the stage winners and other top-ranked boxers competed for the main trophy.

Fellow Brits also enjoyed success with Charley Davison winning bantamweight gold, Elise Glynn featherweight gold, Demie-Jade Resztan light-flyweight silver and Pat Brown claiming heavyweight silver.

For Eccles, who won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year and a bronze medal at the European Games in Krakow earlier this year, success in Germany this week is another big stepping stone towards Paris 2024 after missing out the last Olympics.

“I was absolutely heartbroken to miss out on Tokyo and it’s been a real monkey on my back for a long time,” said Eccles, whose journey as a fighter began in Caldicot and continued with Chepstow and Pontypool ABCs.

“But I showed at the Commonwealths that I had that grit to come back and get the medal in tough circumstances, and that shows I have plenty of self-belief.”

Eccles has dreamed of going to the Olympics since her first boxercise class in 2011, one year before the likes of Nicola Adams and Katie Taylor helped boost the profile of the women’s sport at London 2012.

“I already had a massive ambition to go to the Olympics and watching the likes of Nicola Adams just confirmed it,” she added.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of the Olympics, I remember sitting down when I was younger and watching the likes of Kelly Holmes.

"But boxing made me realise that this is my sport and this is where I want to be, and about a decade later it’s finally happened.”

She will have the added bonus in the French capital of a change to the Olympic weights, which means she will be able to fight in her favoured 66kg category, rather than the 70kg division in which she won her gold medal in Birmingham.

“It’s my natural weight and it’s really going to benefit me,” added Eccles. “I’m ready to go out and achieve what I know I can achieve.

"I’ve waited my whole life for this bit. I’ve had plenty of ups and downs, but all that heartache is only going to help.”