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Seven GB boxers reach Commonwealth Games finals
Page last updated at 10:49PM BST, Friday, 01 August 2014
Seven members of the England team will box for gold medals tomorrow at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow.
I am a lot more experienced, a lot more grown up and I know what to expect.
There was disappointment mixed with delight for England's Joe Joyce, whose opponent failed this morning's medical. Joyce won an automatic bye into the 91kg+ final where he faces Australian Joseph Goodall.
Nicola Adams got the action underway for England with a unanimous win over Mandy Bujold of Canada. Aiming to become the first England boxer to win a Commonwealth Games gold, Nicola said: "I am looking forward to the finals. It is going to be exciting fighting in front of a crowd of 11,000 – it is going to be amazing. I am prepared and ready and I hope you guys are ready for the action.
“It (the Hydro, venue for the final) is bigger than the ExCeL (the boxing venue for the London 2012 Olympics) and I have got the experience. I know what it is like to fight in front of a big crowd like that and I’ll take all that experience into the final.
“I am a lot more experienced, a lot more grown up and I know what to expect.'
England's Qais Ashfaq reached the bantamweight final after a semi-final defeat of Kenyan Benson Gicharu Njangiru. He will now face Michael Conlan of Northern Ireland in the final.
He said: "He is a very experienced boxer. He is 29 years old and I am only 21. He has been to the Olympics, been to the World Championships and he got to the Commonwealth Games final last time. So I knew it would be tough but I am ready for anyone who comes my way."
Josh Taylor of Scotland beat England's Sam Maxwell to take his place in the 64kg final, where he faces Julius Jonas of Namibia.
Maxwell reflected on his loss: "It was a close fight and it could have gone either way. I wish Josh the best, he is more than capable of winning gold. I just hope he does now. If he boxes like that he will. All the best to him, he is a nice lad."
Savannah Marshall is through to the 75kg final, where she faces Canadian Ariane Fortin. Marshall delighted the crowd in the SECC as she defeated Edith Ogoke of Nigeria to guarantee a silver medal and be in with a chance of winning gold.
Scott Fitzgerald enjoyed a unanimous points decision over Tulani Mbenge of South Africa to book his place in the 69kg final, where he wassoon joined by Antony Fowler, who gave a characteristically strong performance against Zambia's Benny Muziyo. Fowler will now face Vijender Vijender of India in his 75kg final.
Welsh GB Boxing representative Sean McGoldrick was unable to replicate his 2010 gold medal winning performance after his 56kg bout was stopped in the second round with Northern Ireland's strong Michael Conlon suffering a cut to the eye. The judges scored the bout unanimously in the Irish corner, but's favour, signalling a disappointing end to the competition for McGoldrick.
'It is heartbreaking,' he said.
'He is a world-class fighter but he won’t want to have won like this. I would have preferred to have gone three rounds and lost on points.'
Podium potential boxer Ashley Williams also suffered defeat, losing out to Devendro Laishram of India in the 49kg semi final to claim bronze.
Another bittersweet bronze went to Joe Cordina, who lost to Scotland's Charlie Flynn at 60kg, and Lauren Price at 70kg - Ariane Fortin of Canada took a split decision over the Welsh boxer. Nathan Thorley, Wales' representative at 81kg, returns with bronze after losing on a TKO to Kennedy St Pierre of Mauritius.
At 52kg, Reece McFadden's run of success was halted by the Australian Andrew Moloney and a split points decision. McFadden, the boxer that eliminated both Welsh world number one Andrew Selby and England's Charlie Edwards in the early stages of the competition, wins a bronze medal for Scotland.
Scotland's Stephen Lavelle also leaves with bronze, with New Zealand's David Light taking the finals place at 91kg.