Commonwealth Boxing Finals
Written by Alexander Zammit
Thursday, 14 October 2010 10:35
The 19th Commonwealth Games boxing tournament has finished in Delhi, India where the host nation and Northern Ireland both claimed three gold medals each.
In the first contest of the day reigning European Champion and Olympic Games bronze medalist Northern Ireland's 23-year-old Patrick Barnes claimed the gold medal at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium after beating veteran Japhet Uutoni of Namibia in the light flyweight class by 8:4 to continue his great series of wins in 2010. Barnes's gold was the first at the Games for Northern Ireland since 1994, when Neil Sinclair and Jimmy Webb won gold in Victoria.
After Vijender Singh's surprise loss during the semi-final contests India's best hope was Asian Champion and Commonwealth Champion flyweight Suranjoy Mayengbam Singh, who won the gold medal by walkover because his Kenyan opponent Benson Gicharu was unable to compete against the 24-year-old local hero.
The two surprise contenders advanced to the final in the bantamweight, 18-year-old Welshman Sean McGoldrick and 31-year-old Manju Dinesh Kumar Wanniarachchi from Slimline BC in Sri Lanka, made the closest fight of the day.
McGoldrick led by one point after six minutes but Wanniarachchi equalized the contest in the last minute and won the bout by accepted scores to make history for his country. It was Sri Lanka's first Commonwealth Games boxing gold since 1938, when Ansdale Henricus triumphed at the 57kg weight class in Sydney.
England's European Championships silver medalist Thomas Stalker claimed his nation's first gold in Delhi after easily beating Scotland's young Josh Taylor by 11:3 in the lightweight final. The Liverpudlian athlete from Salisbury Boxing Club defeated his biggest rivals during the Games and deservedly finished on the top of the podium.
England's other top fighter and World Championships bronze medalist was surprisingly defeated by Asian Championships bronze medalist Manoj Kumar of India in the 64kg weight division. Kumar took the lead in the first round and continued to edge ahead to achieve India's second medal at the Games' boxing tournament.
One of the biggest surprises of the Games was Northern Ireland's Patrick Gallagher who moved up a weight class to welterweight just this year. Despite his lack of international experience, Gleann BC's Gallagher claimed the gold medal in Delhi. His opponent was England's 20-year-old Rotunda ABC's Callum Smith who continued his great family tradition with a silver medal.
Anthony Ogogo of England put in an excellent performance to eliminate India's top boxer Vijender Singh in the semi-final on Monday but despite this career highlight he lost to European Championships bronze medalist Eamon O'Kane of Northern Ireland by 16:4 in the final.
Scotland's new light heavyweight star Callum Johnson has built up a lot of international experience in recent years but has so far missed out on a medal. But now, after beating Northern Ireland's Tommy McCarthy in the final, he secured Scotland's only gold medal in Delhi.
An in-form Commonwealth Champion, 25-year-old Simon Vallily of England, hammered his opponents in Delhi, with each of his four heavyweight contests finishing before the regulation nine minutes were up. Using his power Vallily ended his final against Northern Ireland's Steven Ward when the referee stopped the contest in the first round after a flurry of hard punches.
Super heavyweight 21-year-old Paramjeet Samota claimed India's third and final gold medal after beating Trinidad & Tobago's young Tariq Abdul-Haqq 5:1 to achieve a career best in front of the local spectators at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium.