At least two bronze medals secured in Glasgow
Today, Team Wales’ boxers have guaranteed at least two bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as Cardiff based boxers Joe Cordina and Nathan Thorley became the first Welsh boxers to reach the semi-final stage. St Joseph’s Cordina (60KG) faced off against New Zealand’s Chad Milnes, who he beat in the final of the Gee Bee tournament Finland earlier this year, and prevailed with a Unanimous Decision. The action never caught fire as Milnes’ scrappy aggression smothered the cleanness of Cordina’s straight shots but it was routine for the Welshmen who will fight in the semi-finals against Scotland’s Charlie Flynn on Friday. In the first round, Cordina squeezed past England’s Pat McCormack in an excellent encounter that was worthy of being a medal decider. The switch-hitter then gained revenge over Canada’s David Gauthier who had stopped Cordina in a round in May. Cordina dropped Gauthier after six seconds but stayed patient and boxed his way to a clear points win. Splott’s Nathan Thorley has proved why he’s called ‘Thunder’ with two first round stoppage victories to secure his first major tournament medal. Tonight, the light-heavyweight (81KG) overcame Antigua’s Yakita Aska who was forced to retire from the contest after sustaining a shoulder injury. Thorley applied the pressure from the off and stayed wise to his opponent’s crudge swings, pinning him to the ropes where Aska suffered the injury. Thorley received a bye in the first round but in the last 16, the Welshman stopped Tonga’s Benjamin Taualii and wasted no time in progressing to the next rounds. In Friday’s semi-final, Thorley will face Mauritius’ Kennedy St Pierre. Earlier in the day, Pembroke’s lightweight (60KG) Charlene Jones became the first female boxer from Wales to compete in the Commonwealth Games and she did so with style. The Merlins Bridge boxer scored a Unanimous Decision over Sri Lanka’s Hansika Arachchi by controlling the range and ambushing her taller opponent when she over-reached. Jones will box for a place in the semi-finals on against India’s Laishram Devi tomorrow at approximately 4:30pm. This evening, Bargoed’s Lauren Price followed in Jones’ footsteps and became the second Welsh woman to compete at the Commonwealth Games, shining in a Unanimous Decision win over Guyana’s Theresa London. The middleweight (75KG) progressed to the last eight in comprehensive fashion, forcing two standing counts in the third round but never over-exerting herself, conserving energy for the tougher tasks that no doubt lie ahead. However, there was disappointment for Llanelli’s light-welterweight (64KG) Zack Davies who suffered a Unanimous Decision loss to Scotland’s Josh Taylor. Boosted by a large home support, Team GB squad member Taylor gave Davies a standing count in the first round and dropped the Welshman in the third round on his way to a dominant points win. Prior to today’s contest, Davies was in fine form with decision wins over Swaziland’s Thabiso Dlamini and Nigeria’s Waheed Shogbamu. On the opening day of the Commonwealth Games, Barry Town’s flyweight (52KG) Andrew Selby suffered an upset courtesy of Scotland’s Reece McFadden. Selby, who is Britain and Wales’ most decorated amateur boxer ever, was favourite to win gold but an energetic opponent and an ill-fitting gum-shield denied him the opportunity to progress in one of the only major tournaments he hasn’t medalled at. Defending Commonwealth Games bantamweight (56KG) gold medallist Sean McGoldrick fights South Africa’s Ayabonga Sonjica tomorrow afternoon, aiming to secure consecutive medals at the competition. Also, Team Captain Ashley Williams boxes against Malaysia’s Muhamad Fuad Mohd Redzuan for a place in the semi-finals of the light-flyweight (49KG) division tomorrow evening.