Nicola Adams is one fight away from making more women’s boxing history after cruising into the final of the flyweight competition at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The Leeds fighter served up a classy display to comprehensively outpoint Mandy Bujold of Canada and is one win away from being crowned the Games’ first women’s boxing champion.
Adams will take on Northern Ireland’s Michaela Walsh at the 10,000 capacity Hydro Arena today – a venue twice the size as the one in which she claimed Olympic glory at London 2012.
Adams said: “It’s going to be exciting boxing in front of such a big crowd but I know what it’s like and I will be taking that experience into the ring with me.
“The first time round it was all new to me but now I’m a lot more experienced and I’m prepared for it.”
Walsh edged a tight and absorbing contest against India’s Pinki Jangra to realise her long-held dream of a gold medal clash with Adams.
The Belfast 21-year-old struggled initially to get to grips with her opponent’s come-forward style but looked more at ease in the later stages and did just enough to deserve her victory.
Walsh said: “Months ago I said my dream was to fight Nicola Adams in the Commonwealth final and when I go to bed tonight I will dream of that gold medal hanging round my neck.
“I know if I perform to the best of my ability I can beat her. She is the golden girl and I’m only a baby but in the ring it’s a different story.”
England bantamweight Qais Ashfaq – another flying the flag for Leeds – booked his place in the bantamweight final against Northern Ireland’s Michael Conlan after easily outpointing Benson Njangiru of Kenya. And Ashfaq insisted he would not change the tactics that have taken him to his first major final because of Conlan’s head injury, which requires medical clearance.
Ashfaq said: “You just have to not take any notice at all and concentrate on the tactics the coach gives you. And I know for a fact that if I perform to those tactics, I’ll beat him.”
England team-mate Sam Maxwell was forced to settle for a bronze medal after being outpointed by Great Britain squad team-mate Josh Taylor.
Maxwell’s better first round was not rewarded on the scorecards and Taylor’s sharper, back-foot style saw him reach Saturday’s light-welterweight final.
A gold medal for Taylor in front of his home fans will come in sharp contrast to his early exit from London 2012 but the Prestonpans fighter insisted his Olympic disappointment is in the past.
Taylor said: “I’ve been dreaming of this moment for four years and I can’t wait to win a gold medal in front of the Scottish fans.
“The Olympics have been and gone and I’ve been looking forward since then. I’ve put all my losses right and my form has been improving all the time.”
Welshman Nathan Thorley was outclassed by Kennedy St Pierre of Mauritius, who won when Thorley’s corner threw in the towel midway through the final round.
England boxer Joe Joyce is guaranteed at least a silver medal after being given a walkover into the men’s super-heavyweight final.
Londoner Joyce’s Ugandan opponent Mike Sekabembe failed a pre-fight medical meaning Joyce will progress straight into the gold medal match today.