Emotional Ashley Williams wins first major medal at Commonwealth Games

Emotional Ashley Williams wins first major medal at Commonwealth Games

By Dewi Powell: In the evening session at the Commonwealth Games, an emotional Ashley ‘Ash Bash’ Williams won his first medal at a major tournament and became the fourth Welsh boxer to guarantee at least a bronze.

Williams wore his heart on his sleeve in front of the Glasgow crowd as he overcame Malaysia’s Muhamad Redzuan to take a Unanimous Decision.

The Lance Corporal who boxes for GB Army joins fellow Welshmen Joe Cordina, Nathan Thorley and Sean McGoldrick in the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games. Just like McGoldrick had to a few hours earlier, Williams was forced to come from behind to take the win and the light-flyweight’s (49KG) coaches will be happy with the focus and intelligence their boxer showed.

The Welsh boxers will get the opportunity to convert their bronzes to at least silvers on Friday. In the first round, Williams was guilty of following his quicker opponent and Redzuan made the most of it, ambushing the Welshman when he over-reached with his own punches.

However, Williams made the changes he needed to in the second round, cutting the ring off and he found repeated success when he forced Redzuan against the ropes. There was all to fight for in the final round but Williams shadowed Redzuan, who by this point was in full retreat. Unable to gain any sort of forward momentum, Redzuan’s defences faded as Williams stayed in front of the visitor and landed short hooks. Redzuan attempted to tie up Williams’ limbs but he wasn’t strong enough and Wiliams dominated the inside exchanges.

On announcement of the result, Williams fought back tears and now has a day to recover before his next fight. In the next round, Williams will fight India’s Devendro Laishram on Friday. In the other light-flyweight semi-final, defending champion Paddy Barnes will face Uganda’s Fazil Juma Kaggwa.

There was disappointment for Team Wales as Pembroke’s history making Welsh woman Charlene Jones was eliminated from the Commonwealth Games. Jones lost a hard fought contest against India’s Laishram Devi who is favourite to win gold in the women’s lightweight (60KG) category.

Yesterday, Jones became the first Welsh woman to compete at the Commonwealth Games and she’ll be disappointed not to medal having been just one win away from the semi-finals. However, Jones has helped build a legacy for Welsh female boxing and she should be proud of her impact. Fellow female Welsh boxer, Lauren Price will attempt to reach the semi-finals of the middleweight competition when she takes on Australia’s Kaye Scott later tonight.

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