Following the long preliminaries, the first package of the quarter-finals took place at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England on Day6. Scotland’s Reese Lynch, Wales’ Rosie Eccles and England’s Lewis Richardson all made remarkable performance in their quarter-finals.
The Commonwealth Games is one of the top multisport events next to the Olympic Games and European Games and after four years of break, the competition returned to the agenda. Altogether 231 boxers from 55 out of the 72 participating NOCs are competing in the boxing event of the new Commonwealth Games from all of the five Confederations. The finals of the Commonwealth Games will be held in Birmingham on August 7.
The bout of the day
Scotland’s Reese Lynch exceeded all of his previous limits at the Belgrade 2021 AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships where he earned a bronze medal. The Scottish boxer made an incredible comeback in the Commonwealth Games and eliminated one of the stars, India’s Shiva Thapa. The light welterweight (63.5kg) boxer had another top level opponent, Namibia’s Jonas Junias Jonas in Birmingham. The Scottish boxer started his previous contests slowly but Lynch switched his tempo this time and his energetic attacks guaranteed his advantage after the first round. The Namibian was the titleholder of the Games but he could not adopt Lynch’s tempo and speed which meant the Scottish eliminated another gold medal favourite in Birmingham.
The surprise of the day
India’s Lovlina Borgohain claimed bronze medals at the Olympic Games and twice at the Women’s World Boxing Championships. The Indian is the Chairwoman of the IBA Athletes’ Committee and she was named as the main favourite for the title at the light middleweight (70kg). Borgohain was taller than Wales’ 2018 silver medallist Rosie Eccles and she used her range well enough in the first round. The Welsh girl had brave attempts in the second round, returning to the match with her rhythm switch but Borgohain had still the advantage after six minutes. Eccles played all of her cards in the last round, she gave in everything and that fantastic finish was enough to turn back this tough quarter-final.
Northern Ireland’s Carly McNaul was a new addition to their national team before the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games where she finally earned an unexpected silver medal. She is more experienced now, participating in almost all of the major championships in the previous four and half years therefore she was the favourite against Sri Lanka’s Keshani Hansika. McNaul started the first round better, she landed her best combination and her coaches were satisfied with her performance. Hansika moved down three weight categories since her last international appearance but McNaul decided their important quarter-final contest with speed.
England’s Lewis Richardson competed in the international stage successfully in 2018 and in 2019 but he was a relatively surprise selection for their team at the European Olympic Boxing Qualifying Event. The English middleweight (75kg) boxer used the Covid-19 period to strengthen his technical and tactical skills which were paid off at the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships this May. Following his silver medal in Yerevan, Richardson is still in top shape and his emerging performance delivered for him a semi-final place in Birmingham. Guernsey’s lone boxer in the Games, Billy Le Poullain was brave in their meeting and he had the attempt to catch Richardson but the English boy looked highly confident in their quarter-final.
England’s Aaron Bowen was a gold medallist at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in Nassau, Bahamas but he had to work hard in the previous five years to get the chance to represent his nation among the elite boxers. Bowen, who replaced George Crotty in the national team, had difficulties to find the best fighting range against India’s Ashish Kumar in the first round therefore his Asian opponent had the advantage on the scorecards. The Indian, who earned a silver at the 2019 ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships, remained in the same level but Bowen changed his rhythm in the beginning of the second round. The third was the best for the English boxer and his hard work secured a medal for him at the light heavyweight (80kg).
The quotes of the day
“I was really happy with my performance – I was relaxed, and able to show my boxing skills, my accuracy and show that I am not a brawler. John’s tactics were spot-on, and I followed them closely. I’m really happy and looking forward to my next fight. I’m not here for a bronze medal. I’m here for gold – and I want to do better than in the 2018 Gold Coast Games,” added Ireland’s Carly McNaul.
“I am glad to progress into the semi-finals and I am happy with my performance today. I enjoyed the contest so much and I am looking forward the next,” commented his quarter-final bout England’s Lewis Richardson who deserved to win the guaranteed medal in Birmingham.
“I knew that this was going to be a tough and close quarter-final contest and sure it was. I dug deep and I am thrilled to be victorious over my tough Indian opponent today,” said England’s Aaron Bowen.