Commonwealth Games 2022

Northern Ireland is on the top of the team standings in boxing at the Commonwealth Games

August 8th, 2022 / Commonwealth Games 2022

The boxing event at the Commonwealth Games finished in Birmingham on Sunday. Out of 55 participating countries, 19 won medals at the competition and 6 nations took all gold medals.

After the 2014 Glasgow edition, Northern Ireland won the medal standings in boxing with five titles ahead of India’s and Scotland’s three golds. England and Wales both earned two gold medals while the Canadians took the last one of the 16 titles.

Nitu won the first title at the Commonwealth Games

Four Indians including two of their top girls advanced to the final of the Commonwealth Games proving the country’s continuous development. Nitu Ghanghas won the Youth World Boxing Championships twice and she was named as the main favorite of the minimumweight (48kg) before the start of the competitions in Birmingham. She eliminated Canada’s Priyanka Dhillon in the semi-finals and faced England’s Demie-Jade Resztan for the gold medal. English athlete is a silver medallist of the 2019 EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships and she had a clear strategy to reduce the fighting distance from the first seconds. Resztan had a few energetic attacks in the first round but from the second Nitu had full control from a long range. The Indian had better footwork and full confidence in the third round when the referee counted Resztan. Nitu was upset at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships where she missed the medal but she earned gold at the Commonwealth Games.

India’s Amit Panghal changed his 2018’s silver into gold

Amit Panghal from India had amazing years in 2018 and in 2019 when he claimed titles and medals in all of his four big Championships and Games. He had a few difficulties in the recent two years with some unexpected losses but he returned stronger to the international stage this April. Amit eliminated Zambia’s 21-year-old Patrick Chinyemba in a hectic semi-final which he overturned and he expected another hard battle against England’s EUBC European Boxing Championships silver medallist Kiaran MacDonald for the title. Amit had more than 10cm of height disadvantage against the tall local boxer but he had the speed to handle this tactical final bout. The Indian looked stronger in the exchanges and jumped into the best fighting distance to catch MacDonald in the first round. The 25-year-old English is an experienced boxer with excellent technical skills but he was not able to keep the smaller and faster Indian on long distance. Amit was a silver medallist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and he switched that into gold in Birmingham.

“I was confident that I could win the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. I used my speed and several combinations to catch my opponent and I think I controlled this final well. This was a successful preparation for me before the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships and for the 2023 Asian Games,” Panghal said.

Rosie Eccles is the first Welsh gold medallist

Rosie Eccles achieved a silver medal at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games which was a huge upset for her. The Welsh girl trained hard in the recent four and half years to get a gold medal in Birmingham and this was her only target. Eccles showed an amazing performance at the entire Commonwealth Games, she eliminated the main gold medal favorite, India’s Lovlina Borgohain already in the quarter-finals. She faced Australia’s Kaye Scott for the title who claimed a silver medal at the 2016 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. The Australian is tall for the light middleweight (70kg) but Eccles used an aggressive style of boxing from the first seconds. The Hungarian referee counted Scott one time in the first round, and the Welsh girl had the clear advantage after three minutes of the fight. Eccles’ pressure was uncomfortable for Scott in the second round which became decisive between them achieving the first Welsh boxing gold medal in Birmingham.

“I am so pleased to win 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 Eccles after her second Commonwealth Games final.

Scotland’s Samuel Hickey and Sean Lazzerini amazed the crowd

Scotland’s Samuel Hickey has six years of international experience but his success over England’s EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships silver medallist Lewis Richardson was a surprise in the semi-finals in the middleweight (75kg) in Birmingham. Hickey used his strength in the last four but he needed more technical skills in the final against Australia’s youngest team member, Callum Peters. The 22-year-old Scottish boxer gave everything in the first and second rounds to beat the opponent. Following Hickey’s narrow title, Sean Lazzerini delivered the second gold medal for Scotland in the light heavyweight (80kg). The 25-year-old boxer was patient and he found the best angles against Wales’ Taylor Bevan to beat the younger but well-prepared opponent.

Nikhat Zareen won her third major title in 2022

India’s Nikhat Zareen started the year with a gold medal at the strong Strandja Memorial Tournament and she earned the title at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul this May. The 26-year-old Indian moved down to the light flyweight (50kg) after the world event and she was still hungry for her next gold medal in Birmingham. Zareen had the speed advantage against Northern Ireland’s Carly McNaul in the first round and she led in all of the scorecards after three minutes. The Indian was almost untouchable for McNaul and the Irish ringside could not find the best tactics against Zareen today. The Indian won her third big title in 2022 while McNaul achieved her second silver medal after Gold Coast.

Eagleson and Walsh are Northern Ireland’s gold medallists

Dylan Eagleson achieved a silver medal at the EUBC European Men’s Elite Boxing Championships in Yerevan at the age of 19 and he was invited to Northern Ireland’s team for the Commonwealth Games. Eagleson had difficulties in the first round against Ghana’s Abraham Mensah who joined the elite age group this January as well as the Northern Irish boxer did. The African had the advantage after the first round but Eagleson’s coaches switched his tactics and speed to return to the bout in the second. Northern Ireland’s new sensation had fantastic punches in the third round and his outstanding comeback delivered a gold medal for Eagleson in the bantamweight (54kg). His teammate Aidan Walsh claimed the second gold medal for Northern Ireland, he was too smart and experienced for Mozambique’s new sensation, Tiago Osorio Muxanga in the light middleweight (71kg).

Reese Lynch made Scotland proud

Reese Lynch made historic steps for Scotland at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Belgrade last November and following that bronze medal, he had the full concentration to be in top shape for the Commonwealth Games. The 21-year-old boxer eliminated the main rivals in Birmingham step by step and following his success over Canada’s Wyatt Sanford, he was hungry for the title of the light welterweight (63.5kg). His draw and road to the final were hard but Lynch looked fresh enough to start the title contest effectively against Mauritius’ All Africa Games winner veteran, Louis Richarno Colin. Scottish boxer found the best fighting distance in the first round and he repeated his very best in the second. Colin switched his tactics at the beginning of the third, and made a fantastic round but Lynch had the advantage to win their final by a split decision.

Broadhurst and Williams won their finals by a large margin

Amy Broadhurst is a fantastic boxer, she claimed titles in the youth and U22 age groups before joining the elite national team. She won the title in the light welterweight (63kg) at the recent IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships but this category was not included in the program of the Commonwealth Games. The boxer moved down to the lightweight (60kg) and she had a strong performance against England’s AIBA Youth World Champion Gemma Richardson in the final. Broadhurst was stronger and smarter, she looked better in the ring, therefore, the final was one-sided. England’s Lewis Williams was the main favorite of the men’s heavyweight (92kg) in the absence of New Zealand’s two-time champion, David Nyika and he dominated his final against Samoa’s Ato Plodzicki Faoagali.

“I am very proud and pleased to win the gold medal in my home country. The support for my friends and family has been outstanding. Full credit to all of my opponents, they pushed me to a new level during the Games,” said Williams.

Michaela Walsh and Tammara Thibeault finally succeeded at the Games

Northern Ireland’s Michaela Walsh claimed two silver medals at the previous editions of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and in Gold Coast. The 29-year-old featherweight (57kg) boxer had the motto of never giving up and she changed these silver medals into gold in Birmingham. Walsh’s brother Aidan won the title in the men’s light middleweight (71kg), and Michaela worked well to beat Nigeria’s Elizabeth Oshoba taking her first title. Another former medallist from Gold Coast, Tammara Thibeault of Canada faced Mozambique’s Adosinda Rady Gramane in the final of the women’s middleweight (75kg). The defending IBA Women’s World Champion Canadian used her height and longer reach successfully to win the title of the weight class.