Reese Lynch writes Scottish boxing history with the team’s third gold in play

Reese Lynch squeezed out a split decision victory over Louis Collin of Mauritius to make Scottish boxing history as the team confirmed three gold medals at the same Commonwealth Games for the first time.

The 21-year-old light-welterweight received the verdict on all but one of the five judges’ cards to emulate his compatriots Sam Hickey and Sean Lazzerini, who won their respective bouts earlier on Sunday.

“I’ve said from the start that we can do brilliant things and it put a bit of pressure on me after seeing both of my team-mates go out and get gold,” said Lynch, a member of the GB squad that won a World Championships medal in 2021.

“We’ve been around each other for so long and I always knew we could reach these levels. I am so proud to be part of such a record-breaking team and now my focus changes to going to the Olympics and adding to my medal collection.”

Lynch endured a last-round cut and received a verdict that did not prove universally popular with the capacity crowd at the NEC, many of whom believed the smart Mauritian had done enough to deny the Scot his historic moment.

Hickey, 22, went an even closer middleweight final over Australia’s Callum Peters, holding off a strong last-round comeback from his opponent, while 25-year-old Lazzerini also earned a split decision in his light-heavyweight final against Taylor Bevan of Wales.

“Believing in yourself and actually getting in the ring and doing something is different,” Hickey said. “You have to be able to do a little bit of everything. I’ve shown in this tournament that I can box, I can fight, I can hit a bit, I have a big future and I’m looking forward to showing what I can do in the next few years.”

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games - Day Ten

Sean Lazzerini also secured gold for Scotland (Peter Byrne/PA)

Four years of bad luck melted away for Rosie Eccles as the Pontypool 26-year-old served up an emphatic second-round stoppage of Australian Kaye Scott to claim gold in the women’s light-middleweight division.

Eccles had endured a controversial split decision defeat to England’s Sandy Ryan in the Gold Coast final four years ago and then missed out on a place at the Tokyo Olympics when her body was attacked by a mystery virus and she was denied a second chance by coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m always a very optimistic person, but even I was starting to think I was suffering from a bit of a boxing curse,” Eccles said. “I started to think it just wasn’t going to happen.

“Things kept popping up out of the blue – I got to the first qualifier and was attacked by a virus, then I was denied the chance to go to Tokyo. To come through all that and win gold is just amazing.”

Eccles forced Scott, a former world medalist, into a standing count in the opening round and increased the pressure in the second, dishing out two more counts that convinced the referee to step in and stop the contest.

“I think I can take my silver medal out of the box now,” Eccles added. “I’ve kept it there for four years, even when I visit the school, but now I can say I want to get it out because it’s part of my history and I can look at it with pride.”

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games - Day Ten

Four years of hard work paid off for Rosie Eccles (Peter Byrne/PA)

The victory was all the more impressive for Eccles, who is small for a light-middleweight, and will benefit more from the corresponding category at the Paris Olympics, where the upper weight limit is four kilos lighter.

“Paris is definitely the goal now and I want to get stronger at the lighter weight,” Eccles added. “I’m always quite humble, but I think my time has come. You haven’t seen the best of me yet.”

Leamington heavyweight Lewis Williams won England’s first boxing gold medal with a unanimous decision
Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali from Samoa, but both Demie-Jade Resztan and Kiaran MacDonald had to settle for silver, losing to the Indian pair Nitu Ghanghas and Amit Panghal respectively.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *