WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS UPDATE

FRIDAY 25TH OCTOBER – Welsh flyweight (52KG), Andrew Selby had to settle for a World Championships bronze medal after he found himself on the wrong-end of a close decision to Uzbekistan’s Jasurbek Latipov in the semi-finals at Almaty, Kazakhstan. Selby stalked in the opener and Latipov wasn’t able to get to grips with the Welshman’s angles and movement. The second stanza was closer but it did appear Selby did enough to take it, however two judges disagreed and it was all on the last round. Despite the memorable moments coming from Selby, he was outdone on work rate in the final round and that gave Latipov the advantage in the eyes of the judges with the Uzbek winning a Split Decision. Andrew Selby said: “It has been a hard couple of weeks and it was a tough contest today but I thought I had done enough to win, so it is a disappointment to not make the World final for a second time.   It just wasn’t to be this time but overall I have had a good year in 2013, winning gold at the Europeans and bronze at the Worlds, so it augurs well for the future and is a good start on the road to Rio in 2016.” Selby’s bronze is his sixth major championship medal and means he has now won more major medals than any Great Britain boxer in history.  He won European bronze medals in 2008 and 2010 and golds in 2011 and 2013.  In 2011 he secured silver in the World Championships to go with the bronze he won today. WEDNESDAY 23RD OCTOBER – There were mixed fortunes for Welsh boxing in Kazakhstan today as flyweight Andrew Selby (52KG) progressed to the semi-finals of the World Championships but welterweight Fred Evans (69KG) was eliminated at the quarter-final stage, again. Before Selby fought, no Kazak had lost a bout in Almaty and there were natural worries by some observers about the scoring. The first round just slipped away from Selby as he was slightly out-hustled and Ilyas Suleimenov was guilty of hitting and holding more than once. Barry Town’s Selby needed to win the remaining rounds and he did, spending more time on the front foot than usual to unsettle the Kazak and keep him on the retreat which really displayed his diversity. Two of the three judges awarded Selby the win and he progresses to the semi-final, guaranteeing at least a bronze. There was no luck for St Mellons’ southpaw Fred Evans who was outgunned by Germany’s Arajik Marutjan with all three judges giving every session against Evans. The Welshman was unable to gain any real forward momentum and Marutjan repeatedly found holes in Evans’ defence to score with his right hand. Marutjan hunted Evans and kept close to him, stopping Evans from using his mid-range skill set. TUESDAY 22ND OCTOBER – Wins for Andrew Selby (52KG) and Fred Evans (69KG) today mean that GB Boxing has three boxers in the quarter finals of the World Championships in Almaty. With two big talents in the ring, Andrew Selby’s bout against Cuban Gerardo Tejeira was always going to be a terrific spectacle, and a virtuoso display from Selby comes as standard.Andrew took the first round clearly, fleet of foot and landing shots when least expected. The second was a more competitive affair, but in the last Tejeira was left chasing shadows as Andrew danced around his opponent, found the angles and eliminated the Cuban dangerman. Fred Evans brought more joy for Wales and GB Boxing with a solid win against the Kenyan boxer. Boxing a dominant first round, Fred raced into the lead and then eased his way through the second, moving well to evade his languid opponent and catch him on the counter. A game Okwiri threw everything at Fred in the last, but the bout was already won and the Welshman goes through to the quarters and the chance to box for a medal. Selby and Evans’ quarter-finals will be broadcast on the BBC Red Button and www.BBC.co.uk/Sport. MONDAY 21ST OCTOBER – Then there were two… Fred Evans and Andrew Selby are the last Welshmen on the medal hunt in the AIBA World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan. After a slow start, welterweight (69KG) Fred Evans overcame Georgia’s Zaal Kvachatadze in a hard fought Split Decision. Flyweight (52KG) Andrew Selby was his typical dominant self as he breezed to a Unanimous Decision over USA’s Malik Johnson. Both are in action tomorrow. Light-flyweight Ashley Williams (49KG) has been woefully unlucky and ruled out of the last 16. On Saturday, Williams was dropped by Sri Lanka’s Muthukarage Malith Prabashwara in the first round but the GB Army boxer battled back to take a decision win. However, a head clash left Williams with an eye injury that he was unable to recover from, the doctor wouldn’t let him pass the medical and Williams’ Cuban opponent was today given a walkover win. Lightweight (60KG) Joe Cordina put in arguably a career best performance when his disciplined display pushed Cuba’s Lazaro Estrade all the way to the edge. Estrade, a 2011 World champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, couldn’t have been closer to a shock loss but he used all of his experience to sneak away with a very generous Unanimous Decision. There was frustration for bantamweight (56KG) Sean McGoldrick and light-welterweight (64kg) Zack Davies who were eliminated in the first round with losses to Venezuela’s Yoni Pacheco and Kazakhstan’s Ermeck Sakenov, respectively.

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