Women’s boxing made its long awaited debut on Day 4 of the boxing tournament in the Commonwealth Games.
England’s Nicola Adams is the lone Olympic Champion in action, and began her quest for yet another gold medal to add to her collection in Glasgow.
South Africa were the stars of the fourth competition day, as all of their three tough athletes won their hectic battles.
Bout of the day
India’s defending ASBC Asian Continental Champion and London 2012 Olympian Shiva Thapa entered into the world of boxing in 2009 at the age of 16, and since then he has claimed medals in the AIBA Youth World Championships, the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games, and at the 2012 AIBA Asian Olympic Qualifiers.
The Bantamweight class (56 kg) boxer is a strong athlete with excellent footwork, and is a tough opponent for any boxer.
India’s rising star had to meet with Northern Ireland’s London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Michael Conlan in one of the most anticipated contests of Day 4.
Conlan moved up to the Bantamweight class last year after the London 2012 Olympic Games, and he has adapted to his new weight category very quickly.
The 22-year-old Irish boxer found the best fighting distance against the Asian boxer immediately, and took the lead in the first round.
Thapa raised his speed levels, but Conlan’s counter-attacks were successful in the second frame as well.
Despite Thapa trying his best until the final bell, it was the exciting Conlan who was able to advance to the Top 8 in Glasgow.
Team of the day
South Africa’s first victory on Day 4 was achieved by African Cup gold medallist Ayabonga Sonjica, who eliminated Manju Dinesh Kumara Wanniarachchi in Glasgow.
Sonjica won all of the rounds convincingly, and started off a successful day for his team.
Kenya’s Rayton Nduku Okwiri won two contests in the last edition of the AIBA World Championships in Almaty, and claimed the gold medal at the Lion’s Cup in Sri Lanka which led to medal expectations in Scotland.
The Kenyan boxer however lost to South Africa’s African Cup silver medallist Thulani Mbenge, who recovered from a slow start to defeat his fellow African opponent.
South Africa’s Middleweight class (75 kg) boxer and African Cup winner Siphiwe Lusizi is undefeated this year, and also secured his place in the quarter-finals following an excellent performance in Glasgow.
The 25-year-old athlete, who trains in Eastern Cape won every round against New Zealand’s young hope Eric Finau, winning by unanimous decision.
Surprise of the day
Papua New Guinea’s AIBA Oceanian Olympic Qualifiers silver medallist Charles Keama only began boxing in 2010 at the age of 16, but four years of training and hard work were enough for him to earn his place in the Commonwealth Games.
The Light Flyweight class (49 kg) boxer met with Botswana’s African Cup silver medallist Mooketsi Lekgetho, and it was the African athlete who started the bout better.
Keama’s talented flurries were enough to turn the fight around to beat Lekgetho, and the young Papua New Guinean fight is looking for more success in the Games.
Ones to watch
Wales’ favourite Sean McGoldrick arrived in Glasgow as the defending champion of the Bantamweight class (56 kg), and after four years of extra experience the 23-year-old boxer has got all of the skills needed to defend his title in the Games.
He needed to be at his best to defeat a very strong opening opponent in Australia’s London 2012 Olympian Jackson Woods.
McGoldrick managed to negate the powerful attacks from his Australian opponent, and his win will give him great confidence for the rest of the Games.
England’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Anthony Fowler had to face off against Scotland’s home favourite Kieran Smith in Glasgow.
The 23-year-old English Middleweight class (75 kg) is regarded as one of the best talents in his weight class in the world, and he controlled the opening round using his sharp jab to keep the distance.
Fowler continued to impress despite a game performance from Smith, and the gold medal prospect is looking very good already to win another medal for himself.
England’s London 2012 Olympic Games Champion, and EUBC European Continental Champion Nicola Adams had to wait until the last bout of Day 4 to get into the ring, but she kept her cool and advanced to the quarter-finals.
The 32-year-old star did not give any chances to Nigeria’s Oluwatoyin Oladeji, and the popular Yorkshire star is looking to claim yet another gold medal.
Quote of the day
“It was a really tough fight, but I felt good and had to dig deep to get the win against my Australian opponent today. The tactic was to attack the body first to slow him down, and then keep the pressure on him. I am happy with my performance but there is more to come,” said Welshman titleholder Sean McGoldrick after his tight battle against Australia’s Jackson Woods.
The first part of the quarter-finals and the final day of the preliminaries will be held in Glasgow on Tuesday, which means some of the winners win a guaranteed bronze medal at least.
Thirty one bouts will be held on Tuesday, and among them the Scottish boxing fans can watch eleven women’s contests.