GLASGOW: Nicola Adams has set her sights on defending her Olympic title at Rio in 2016 after winning a controversial gold in the historic women’s Commonwealth flyweight final yesterday.
Adams had started the bout as favourite but was met by a barrage of punches from Northern Ireland’s Michaela Walsh as soon as the opening bell sounded.
The English boxer recovered well to take the second and third rounds before Walsh edged the last.
With two judges ruling it a draw, and each picking a different boxer as their preferred winner, it was left to the third judge to shade the result in Adams’ favour.
“She was quite tricky but again I’ve managed to create history,” Adams said after becoming the first ever female Commonwealth boxing champion.
“Having this gold medal makes all the hard work worth it. I’ve been thinking of this since the London 2012 Olympics. It’s on to Rio now. I would love to be there and that’s the next step.”
Walsh, who was left in tears after the defeat, was clearly irked by the decision of the judges.
“I’m heartbroken. I worked so hard and I felt like I won the fight. I feel like I’ve been cheated but a close fight against the Olympic champion is always going to go her way,” the 21-year-old said.
The women’s lightweight final saw Australia’s Shelley Watts crowned champion.
A strong start from Laishram Devi saw the Indian claim the first round but the Australian hit back to dominate the final three rounds to win an unanimous decision.
There was more heartache for India in the final of the men’s light flyweight as Devendro Laishram lost to defending champion Paddy Barnes of Northern Ireland.
Barnes bossed the bout and despite Laishram throwing everything he had at him in the final round the Northern Irishman had done enough to earn an unanimous decision from the judges and collect his country’s first gold of the Games.
Laishram had no complaints about the defeat.
“It was a fair result. I lost to him in the Olympics in London in the quarter-finals and I hope I can beat him next time we fight,” the Indian boxer said.
More gold was to come for Northern Ireland in the men’s bantamweight.
Michael Conlan was only passed fit to fight on Saturday morning after suffering a deep cut above his eye in his semi-final defeat of Sean McGoldrick.
However, the Northern Irish boxer showed no ill effects from his injury as he slugged it out with England’s Qais Ashfaq on his way to being crowned champion.
The roof at the Hydro venue was raised as Scottish boxer Charlie Flynn’s victory in the men’s lightweight final was met with a wall of noise and an outpouring of emotion.
Flynn won an unanimous decision as he showed great energy and skill to out-box his opponent in every round with his clever combinations leaving the Northern Irishman reeling.
The atmosphere was electric by the time fellow Scot Josh Taylor walked out for his light welterweight bout with Namibia’s Junias Jonas. Taylor seemed to feed off the energy of the crowd on his way to gold and an unanimous victory, much to the delight of the home crowd. AFP