Twelve European gold medals in the Commonwealth Games where Lynch and Hickey were the bests09 August 2022
The sixteen finals were held on the last competition day at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. Scotland’s Reese Lynch won the bout of the day and his teammate, Samuel Hickey was named as the Best Male Boxer of the Commonwealth Games.
Northern Ireland achieved five gold medals in Birmingham and won the medal standings for the second time after their 2014 Glasgow’s performance. Scotland amazed and their development program delivered for them three titles in the Commonwealth Games. Host England and Wales both bagged two gold medals in the event which meant that 12 out of the 16 titles remained in Europe.
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 competed in the boxing event of the new Commonwealth Games from all of the five IBA Confederations.
The bout of the day
Scotland’s Reese Lynch was bronze medallist at the Belgrade 2021 AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships and he arrived in Birmingham as their best gold medal hope. Lynch eliminated the main rivals one by one during his road to the finals of the light welterweight (63.5kg). The Scotsman met in the final with Mauritius’ veteran Louis Richarno Colin who achieved gold at the 2011 All Africa Games and he was bronze medallist already at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The Mauritian boxer has 17 years of international experience and he has very similar technical skills and strategy as Lynch. The Scottish boxer began the first round in a very different rhythm, his effective shots delivered a clear advantage for him after three minutes of fight. Lynch was able to keep that performance in the second and despite Colin’s amazing final round, the Scottish boxer won the bout of the day.
The surprise of the day
Wales’ Taylor Bevan proved powerful performance in the whole Commonwealth Games and he was the main favourite of the light heavyweight (80kg) despite his young age. The Welsh boxer dominated all of his contests during his road to the finals of the Games and he had a tough battle for the gold medal with Scotland’s Sean Lazzerini. Their final was a tactical challenge for both of them, the Scotsman surprised Bevan with his patient and smart boxing. Lazzerini used all of his experiences and landed the better shots in their final and his strategy worked well to get the gold medal.
Wales’ Rosie Eccles was upset after the finals of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games where she earned only a silver medal. The Welsh girl was highly motivated after that silver medal and defeated all of her main rivals at the light middleweight (70kg). She defeated Australia’s Kaye Scott in the semi-finals of the 2018 edition and the experienced Welsh boxer faced her once again in a special repeat match. Eccles began the final in a different rhythm and she dominated the first round against the Aussie veteran. Scott was not able to keep that tempo and the referee confirmed Eccles’ RSC success in the final.
Scotland’s Samuel Hickey delivered the main sensations of the semi-finals in the Games when he eliminated England’s Lewis Richardson. The 22-year-old Scottish middleweight (75kg) boxer celebrated that unexpected RSC success, and he marched to the final therefore he had to keep his full concentration to reach his career highlight in Birmingham. Hickey met Australia’s 19-year-old Callum Peters who eliminated some of the stars in this weight class and exceeded the previous expectations. The Scotsman was nervous in the contest but his skills, experiences and stamina decided the tight final therefore Hickey reached the top of the podium in Birmingham.
Northern Ireland’s Dylan Eagleson was born in 2003 but he is already a silver medallist from the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships. The Northern Irish bantamweight (54kg) boxer marched to the finals of the Commonwealth Games but he was not able to start the first round in his best rhythm against Ghana’s Abraham Mensah. Eagleson received the right instructions in the first break and his second round was amazing therefore the final verdict depended on their performance in the last round. Eagleson landed several counter-punches in the third round and his efforts were enough to win the battle of the teenagers.
Northern Ireland’s Aidan Walsh achieved a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games and the 25-year-old boxer recovered from his hand injury in time to participate at the Commonwealth Games. Walsh was highly confident in the whole event, eliminating the defending European Champion and he was too smart for Mozambique’s strong Tiago Osorio Muxanga and his patient style guaranteed his gold medal at the light middleweight (71kg). Their next gold medal was achieved by the defending Women’s World Champion Amy Broadhurst at the women’s lightweight (60kg), she dominated the final against England’s EUBC European U22 Champion Gemma Richardson. Jude Gallagher and Michaela Walsh both won their finals in the last session and increased the number of the Northern Irish gold medals up to five.
England’s EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships bronze medallist Lewis Williams was the main favourite of the heavyweight (92kg) in the absence of New Zealand’s star, David Nyika. The Birmingham-based English boxer used his longer reach effectively against Samoa’s 2018 silver medallist Ato Plodzicki Faoagali in the final and won the first gold medal for the host country. The second English gold medal was taken by their super heavyweight (+92kg) newcomer, Delicious Orie who won two out of the three rounds against India’s Sagar Ahlawat.
The quotes of the day
“I am so pleased to have won the final of the Commonwealth Games. I felt really focused and ready to put in a big performance. This has been a long time coming since winning silver in Gold Coast, but it’s been worth the wait,” said Wales’ Rosie Eccles after her second Commonwealth Games’ final.
“I am very proud and pleased to have won the gold medal here in my own backyard. The support for my friends and family has been superb. Full credit to all of my opponents, they pushed me to a new level during the Games,” said England’s heavyweight (92kg) champion Lewis Williams.