Commonwealth Games 2014: Nicola Adams gets quest for gold off to a strong start with unanimous points win
Adams beat Nigerian Oluwatoyin Oladeji as the British boxer looks to add Commonwealth gold to her Olympic success two year's ago
Tuesday 29 July 2014
History-maker Nicola Adams got her Commonwealth Games campaign under way with a unanimous points win over Nigerian Oluwatoyin Oladeji in Glasgow on Monday night.
The Olympic gold medallist was made to work hard for her victory, which marked the introduction of women's boxing to the Commonwealth Games programme for the first time.
But the result was never in doubt as Adams used her slick skills to build up a strong points lead and opened up in the last to leave the result in no doubt.
Adams, who became the first Olympic women's boxing champion when she beat China's Cancan Ren at London 2012, said the experience in Glasgow compared well.
The 31-year-old England fighter said: "I am just happy to be making more history, and to be here fighting in front of a big crowd is an equally special feeling.
"I don't feel any extra pressure because the way I see it if nobody was expecting me to win I would be doing something wrong, so I am just going out there to enjoy it."
The honour of being the first female boxing winner at a Commonwealth Games went to Northern Ireland 21-year-old Michaela Walsh, who could go on to face Adams in the flyweight final.
Walsh comfortably outpointed Thessa Dumas of Mauritius and said she would relish the opportunity to take on Adams.
Walsh said: "I would love to have fought her tonight - I don't fear anyone. She might be the golden girl but there's a new golden girl coming.
"I don't think I will meet her until the final but I am confident and I believe that if I perform to the best of my ability nobody can beat me."
Liverpool middleweight Antony Fowler is relishing his role as public enemy number one after ending the hopes of Scottish favourite Kieran Smith.
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The former world bronze medallist proved too strong for the game Smith, ramming home thumping hooks throughout the three-round contest which he won clearly on points.
Fowler made the most of the hostile atmosphere, raising his arms to salute the predominantly Scottish crowd at the start, and ending the contest with an in-ring 'Ali Shuffle'.
Fowler said: "It gives me energy when I'm getting booed - I love performing. I was up against it with the crowd and I felt I had to make it clear by landing some heavy shots.
"I was expecting to have to chase him out of the ring but he came to me and I was shocked. I give him respect because he fought with a lot of heart."
Preston welterweight Scott Fitzgerald also went through as he fought back from a tough start to narrowly outpoint Azumah Mohammed of Ghana.
Fitzgerald also finished the bout with a cut over his left eye but he is not concerned about any lingering issues ahead of his quarter-final bout on Wednesday.
Fitzgerald said: "We've got top doctors so I'll be fine by Wednesday. It wasn't a bad cut - it was dripping in my eye and messing around with my vision but it should be fine.
"It's my first ever cut though so it's good experience to fight through three rounds with a cut. There was no worry that we were going to stop the fight."
Leeds bantamweight Qais Ashfaq was another English winner as he kept his poise to repel the rough-house tactics of outclassed Lesotho opponent Neo Thamahane.
Sporting a bright blue mohican, Scotland's Joe Ham delighted the fans with a clear points win over Pakistan's Nadir Nadir at bantamweight.
Ham said: "That was the best atmosphere I've ever boxed in and I appreciate everyone coming to watch me fight."
Light-flyweight Aqeel Ahmed was another Scottish winner as he scored a unanimous decision over Alumasa Matayo Keya of Kenya.
Defending champion Sean McGoldrick started the defence of his title with a tight points win over Jackson Woods of Australia at bantamweight.
Welshman McGoldrick was given the gold medal retrospectively in Delhi four years ago after the man who beat him in the final, Sri Lanka's Manju Wanniarachchi, failed a drugs test and was stripped of the title.
But McGoldrick was denied a rematch when the Sri Lankan was beaten in the following bout by South African Ayabonga Sonjica.
McGoldrick's team-mate Ashley Brace also made a successful start with a unanimous points win over Juliano Maquina of Mozambique.
Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes made an explosive start at light-flyweight as he dominated opponent Hamadi Omari Furahisha of Tanzania, forcing three standing counts before the referee stopped the bout in the third and final round.
Barnes' Northern Ireland team-mate Michael Conlan also advanced in the bantamweight division with a dominant 3-0 win over Shiva Thapa of India, and there were also wins for Northern Ireland middleweight Connor Coyle - who outpointed Guyana's Dennis Thomas - and welterweight Steven Donnelly, who beat Oscar Finau of Tonga.
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