Blood and thunder on a Glasgow afternoon, and at the heart of the piece the poetic hammer of Nicola Adams detonating excitement with every blow.
It hardly needs noting that Adams guaranteed a flyweight bronze with the lethal evisceration of her Sri Lankan opponent, Erandi de Silva, a game boxer routinely exposed here. Adams is already an established star in the sporting firmament, and her arrival in the 12th bout of the opening session evoked wild applause befitting her status.
De Silva was down at the end of the first round, the victim of a beautifully crafted combination. She deserved the Queen’s award for industry for maintaining her feet for the remainder of the four-round bout.
Between them the three judges scored all but one of the four rounds 10-8, confirmation of the colossal gulf in class.
Adams was born with a surfeit of enthusiasm, and in that uniquely expressive way of hers explained how she was better now than when she won the first Olympic gold medal claimed by a female boxer two years ago, at the London Games.
“I have grown massively since then. I’ve really grown into my technique and my style,” Adams said. “We are working on new things all the time. Everything seems to be in full flow at the moment.”
There was even an Ali shuffle in there, which, of course, becomes the “Nicky shuffle” in the Adams lexicon.
Were you new to the Adams phenomenon you might infer a degree of hubris in the relentlessly upbeat delivery. But in the end it is impossible not to be charmed by her Leeds patois. “Everybody is a challenge for me. Everyone wants to be the new Nicola Adams,” she said. “Everyone wants to beat me and take the No 1 spot. But I’ll just stick to cutting my grass and not worry about how green everybody else’s is.”
Joining Adams in the semi-finals is the Indian flyweight Pinki Rani, one of two Indian boxers to defy the stereotype that casts women of the subcontinent in a submissive role.
Rani, who beat the great Mary Kom to qualify, ran straight through Papua New Guinea’s Jacquiline Wangi to set up a potential final against Adams should she negotiate the test provided next by Northern Ireland’s Michaela Walsh.
Pinki’s accomplished compatriot Laishram Devi, a former world champion, was equally impressive in her split-decision victory at lightweight against Charlene Jones of Wales.
Jones was of a far higher calibre than Pinki’s opponent and led by a point going into the final round. But Devi would not be subjugated, blasting her way to medal territory.
The England welterweight Scott Fitzgerald edged into the medal bouts via a split decision in the fight of the night against granite-jawed Kiwi Bowyn Morgan.
The English flyweight hope Qais Ashfaq boxed beautifully to beat Scotland’s Joe Ham, but the heavyweight Warren Baister was denied his medal opportunity, dropping a split decision to Canada’s Samir El-Mais.Reuse content