Delicious Orie won the super heavyweight gold medal for England in the final bout of the boxing tournament at the Commonwealth Games in his hometown of Birmingham on Sunday.
Orie showed his talent in the first round, landing long-range jabs on Indian Sagar Ahlawat.
But when the Indian southpaw’s aggressive rush to end the session bagged the first round for all five judges, Orie had to quickly change his approach.
Under pressure, he did just that. In round two, he got on the front foot and brought smashing right uppercuts to Ahlawat’s chin. The Indian caught him in the clinch and let a big punch stray below the belt. But going into the third and final round, Orie had evened the scores.
For the Russian-born British boxer, it was a matter of heart in that final round. Orie walked inside and threw hard hooks. He forced the fight his way as Ahlawat suffered a bad cut to his left eye and the home crowd roared Orie.
He swept the final round for all five judges to win a unanimous decision.
Orie grabbed the announcer’s microphone to address the crowd in the arena.
“It is possible to achieve what you want to achieve. I started boxing at 19. I represented the England team at 25 and just won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. It’s possible, go out there and achieve whatever you want to achieve,” he said to a huge ovation.
Another local boxer, Lewis Williams of Leamington also won boxing gold, beating Samoa’s Ato Leau Plodzicki-Faogali by unanimous decision in the 92kg final.
England teammates Demie-Jade Resztan and Kiaran MacDonald had to settle for silver, losing to Indian duo Nitu Ghanghas and Amit Panghal respectively. Lightweight Gemma Richardson joined them as England’s silver medalist when she lost a unanimous points verdict to Northern Ireland’s Amy Broadhurst.
Scottish boxing history was made when their team won three gold medals at the same Commonwealth Games for the first time.
Middleweight Sam Hickey was their star. After stopping Englishman Lewis Richardson in the semi-finals, a spectacular result, he beat the excellent Australian Callum Peters by a split decision in the 75kgs final.
“Believing in yourself and getting in the ring and doing something is different,” Hickey said.
“You have to be able to do a bit of everything. I showed in this tournament that I can box, I can fight, I can punch a little, I have a great future and I can’t wait to show what I can do in the next few years.”
Sean Lazzerini defeated Welsh talent Taylor Bevan to clinch light heavyweight gold for Scotland. Light welterweight Reese Lynch won the third gold medal for his team when he ousted Louis Collin of Mauritius on a split decision.
Lynch resisted a cut on the final lap to overturn the verdict in his own way.
“I’ve said from the start that we can do some brilliant things and that put a bit of pressure on me after watching my two team-mates go for the gold,” said Lynch, a member of the British team that won one. medal at the world championships in 2021.
“We’ve been together for so long and I always knew we could reach these kinds of levels. I’m so proud to be part of a record-breaking team.
“Now my goal is to go to the Olympics and add to my medal collection.”
Eccles exorcises the ‘curse of boxing’
Four years of bad luck melted away for Rosie Eccles as the 26-year-old from Pontypool served an emphatic second-round stoppage of Australian Kaye Scott to claim gold in the women’s light middleweight division.
Eccles suffered a controversial split decision loss to England’s Sandy Ryan in the Gold Coast final four years ago and then missed out on a place at the Tokyo Olympics when her body was attacked by a mysterious virus and that she was denied a second chance by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m still a very optimistic person, but even I started to think I was suffering a bit from the curse of boxing,” Eccles said. “I was starting to think it wasn’t going to happen.
“Things kept popping up out of the blue – I got to first qualifying and got attacked by a virus and then I was denied the chance to go to Tokyo. Going through all of that and winning gold is just amazing.”
Eccles forced Scott, a former world medalist, to take a standing count in the first round and put the pressure on in the second, handing out two more counts that convinced the referee to step in and stop the contest.
“I think I can get my silver medal out of its box now,” Eccles added. “I kept it there for four years, even when I visit schools, but now I can say I’m going to release it because it’s a part of my history, and I can look at it with pride.”
The victory was all the more impressive for Eccles, who is small for a light middleweight, and will benefit more from the equivalent category at the Paris Olympics, where the upper weight limit is four kilograms lighter.
“Paris is definitely the target now and I will be more powerful with a lighter weight,” Eccles added. “I’m still quite humble, but I think my time has come. You haven’t seen the best of me yet.”
Ioan Croft won another gold medal for Wales by defeating Zambian Stephen Zimba in the welterweight final.
Northern Ireland also had a good comeback from these Games with five gold medalists.
Sibling Aidan and Michaela Walsh won the light middleweight and featherweight categories respectively. As well as Broadhurst’s triumph, teammates Dylan Eagleson and Jude Gallagher also won gold.