It was a great day for Scotland’s boxers on Sunday as three fighters progressed through the quarter-finals stage, meaning Scotland is guaranteed at least three bronze medals from the competition.
Lightweight Josh Taylor was first up in the ring against Kautoa Roddy of Kiribati. The 19 year old from Prestonpans fought well from the first bell, and repeatedly outwitted his opponent. He got off to a flying start, taking the first round 4-0. Roddy couldn’t get anywhere near the young Scot as he took the next two rounds 5-0 and 1-0 respectively to come away with a deserved 10-0 win.
Josh was confident going into the bout, but admits he didn’t think the margin would be so big: “I didn’t think I was going to win 10-0 but I had the mindset that I was going to win, so I’m over the moon with the result. It hasn’t actually sunk in yet [winning his medal], but I’m sure tonight, I’ll be dancing around my room.”
Aston Brown was the second Scot to compete, against England’s Callum Smith. It was a close fight with both athletes boxing well. Despite landing a few good shots, Aston was unable to register any points, and eventually lost 4-0.
Following the fight Aston was gracious in defeat, and says he will take lots away from his first Commonwealth Games. “I thought I landed a few shots, but he deserved to win at the end of the day”, said Aston. “I’ve learned a lot from this competition; I’m only 19 so I’ve got lots of years ahead of me in my amateur career.”
Callum Johnson was the third fighter up, in the afternoon’s second match against English opposition. Fighting Obed Mbwakongo, Callum was in control from the first round, and was a deserved 6-2 winner.
Following the fight, Callum couldn’t contain his excitement about becoming a Commonwealth Games medallist: “This is everything I’ve ever worked for since I was a baby boy. I can’t put into words how good I feel just now. It’s been a lifelong ambition for me to medal at the Commonwealth Games, so I’m absolutely ecstatic with that performance.”
Heavyweight Stephen Simmons was the only Scot to fight in the evening session, where he faced Canadian Samir El Mais. Stephen had been impressive in his first fight, and came out in the same fashion tonight. Stephen ran out a comfortable 7-4 winner, and celebrated his guaranteed medal with a cartwheel in the ring.
Stephen said: “I did a cartwheel after my first fight and someone asked me to do it again if I won. I went out and dominated from the start with the left jab, let the shots flow and controlled the fight. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, and hopefully making the final.”
In boxing there are no third place play-offs so each fighter is guaranteed at least a bronze medal. The semi-finals are tomorrow, which will decide who goes on to the gold medal bouts on Wednesday.
Josh Taylor fights first against Lomalito Moala of Tongo at 14.15hrs, before Callum Johnson faces Jermaine Asare of Wales, at15.15hrs. Heavyweight Stephen Simmons will face Northern Ireland’s Steven Ward in the evening session at 19.15hrs.