EVANS NOT SELECTED FOR COMMONWEALTHS

Super-heavyweight Kevin Evans’ dream of competing at five Commonwealth Games has been denied by Welsh Boxing’s selectors and he doubts he will ever box again. The 37-year-old returned to the ring this year, winning a record equalling tenth senior Welsh Championships title but it wasn’t enough for Evans to seal a spot for the games in Glasgow. Welsh Boxing, the organisation who govern the amateur code in Wales, have decided to fill every available spot except the super-heavyweight place. Evans, a triple Commonwealth Games medallist, feels that there is no point in the opportunity going to waste. He said, “I don’t believe I should be taking the place of any other boys, I wouldn’t like to sacrifice their spot for mine but I can’t understand why they just can’t send a full team.” “I just can’t understand it. What’s puzzling me is the fact that they’re not sending someone at super-heavyweight to Glasgow. What I feel they’ve robbed me of is a chance to do something that’s never been done before. “Four Commonwealth Games had never been done by a boxer but to do five… it’s robbed not only me but my town and my country of a chance to make history. I would’ve competed at five Commonwealth Games and been at the top of the game for twenty years.” Evans came back last month, it culminated on March 29th in Cardiff with a stoppage win over Aled Diplock to win his first Welsh title since 2005, but he wasn’t informed if he had been selected for the Commonwealth Games until he contacted the selectors. He said, “I’m not going to beg, you’re meant to get there on merit and for some reason, they don’t think I’m good enough. So be it. “It’s come to the point that they’re making you beg to box for your country. I had to phone up and ask whether I had been picked, nobody phoned me to say ‘you haven’t been picked’. Things like that are a bit unprofessional. It would be nice to be informed and be told. Last year, there was a lot of scrutiny surrounding the funding of Welsh Boxing but Evans insists that if funding is the stumbling block to his selection then he is prepared to fund himself to appear at a record making fifth Commonwealth Games. “There’s no problem with funding. I could fund that myself. If it was in Melbourne or somewhere like that, the cost implications are quite high so I understand but it’s in Glasgow, I can drive there myself. That’s the kick in the teeth, that they haven’t given me or anyone else the chance. “I’m not trying to say I’d set it alight and win gold but if you get one or two nice draws against the lesser countries, you could be in the medals, especially in the super-heavyweight division because there isn’t that many entered anyway.” Evans first represented Wales twenty years ago at heavyweight (91kg), since then the advances in sports science has seen super-heavyweights (91+KG) increase to almost astronomical size but the Welshman insists that if thoughts of his well-being are the issue then he can overcome the bigger men. He said, “They might be concerned about the size of the super-heavyweights, there’s Joe Joyce and guys like that. Well, I’ve beaten the biggest super-heavyweight in Britain twice, David Price. Dereck Chisora, who went twelve rounds with Vitali Klitschko, I beat him and Sam Sexton. “Size has never been a problem to me, I’ve beaten all top boys as amateurs and I know it was a couple of years ago but I’m still strong.” Evans’ heavyweight nephew, Callum, is still in contention to be selected for the Commonwealth Games but Kevin insists that he has all but given up hope of being there himself. He said, “I’ve got a lot of support in Carmarthen, a lot of people wanted to come to the games. They’ve been asking about it, so I want to let people know, not to cause drama but to let them know that I haven’t been selected. “I’m pretty gutted but I don’t want to slag anyone off. If they were to reverse the decision then they would be in my corner but I don’t think they will reverse it, I think it’s all over now.”

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