Commonwealth Gold is Delicious for rising England boxing star


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Birmingham (United Kingdom) (AFP) – England’s Delicious Orie was crowned the Commonwealth Games super-heavyweight champion on Sunday, as the Northern Ireland brother and sister duo of Aidan and Michaela Walsh also won boxing gold medals.

The 25-year-old Orie, born in Russia to a Nigerian father and a Russian mother, defeated India’s Sagar Ahlawat by a unanimous points decision despite losing the first round.

“I am so proud to be English and British,” Orie, brought to England aged seven after his father suffered racist abuse, told the BBC.

“I knew I had two rounds to prove myself and I was not going to let anyone else win. I was determined. You were going to have to kill me in there for me to lose.”

Now Orie wants to emulate compatriot and occasional training partner Anthony Joshua, who won the 2012 Olympic super-heavyweight gold medal before becoming a professional world heavyweight champion.

“My inspiration has always been Anthony Joshua, and what he has achieved is the bare minimum,” he said. “I am the next generation and we are going to excel.”

Orie and heavyweight Lewis Williams were the only boxing gold medalists for hosts England on a day when 16 titles were decided in the ring.

Williams beat Samoa’s 2018 silver medalist Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali, with his victory made more special by the fact that several family members from nearby Leamington Spa were ringside — including his father, who first took him to a boxing club when he was a boy.

“My dad has been ill in hospital recently,” said Williams. “He came out and was at ringside, which gave me a big lift.”

Good day for Indian boxing

Two of India’s three boxing gold medals came at the expense of English opponents.

Amit Panghal went one better than his 2018 silver by beating Kiaran MacDonald in the flyweight final.

Nitu Ghanghas won the women’s minimumweight title on a unanimous decision over Demie-Jade Resztan.

Ghangas’s team-mate, world champion Zareen Nikhat, also won gold by beating Northern Ireland’s Carly McNaul in the women’s light flyweight final.

“It’s a good day for Indian boxing,” said Nikhat. “Women’s boxing is growing in India since Mary Kom won a medal at the (2012) Olympics. She has been a great inspiration for every boxer in India.”

Northern Ireland enjoyed even more boxing success in Birmingham, with five gold medals, as Michaela Walsh finally became a champion, winning the featherweight title after two successive Commonwealth silvers.

But the 29-year-old was more delighted by younger brother Aidan, 25, taking the men’s light middleweight title.

“Seeing him win his gold is more special than me winning mine,” she said. “He’s my baby brother and to see him achieve his dream is what I have dreamed of myself. It’s phenomenal.”

Earlier, Amy Broadhurst overcame England’s Gemma Richardson on points in the lightweight final.

“I’ve made history as the first woman from Northern Ireland to win a (boxing) gold medal at the Commonwealth Games,” said Broadhurst. “It is an honor that will always be there in the record books. That makes me hugely proud.”

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