Belfast Telegraph

Commonwealth Games: Michaela Walsh punched her way into history ... and now she's chasing gold

By Amanda Ferguson

History-making Belfast boxer Michaela Walsh is fighting all the way to gold at Commonwealth Games – and nothing less, her coach has predicted.

Trainer Gerry Storey says the Team NI fighter is likely to meet Olympic champion Nicola Adams in the fina ... and beat her.

Michaela is back in action today with her eye firmly on glory in Glasgow.

On Monday the 21-year-old secured her place in boxing history by beating Thessa Dumas from Mauritius in the Commonwealth Games' first-ever female boxing bout.

Today she faces Jamaica's Sarah Joy Rae in the Women's Fly (48-51kg) quarter- final.

Head coach of the Women's National Boxing Team, Storey, who is also the head coach of Holy Family Boxing Club where Michaela trains, told the Belfast Telegraph he believed she will face the world's first female boxing Olympic Champion, England's Nicola Adams, in the final.

"Michaela is in this to win," Gerry said. "We are expecting her to come back with a gold. Her and Nicola are on course to clash in the final.

"I am in Dublin at the minute getting calls from all the ones in Glasgow. They are having a ball. Everyone is delighted for Michaela."

Michaela has been supported by the team at Holy Family in north Belfast since her mid-teens.

"Michaela was about 14 or 15 when she came to us," Gerry explained. "She trains twice a day, every day. She makes her way over to the gym. It's no problem for her. She is such a dedicated kid; she watches everything she eats.

"Michaela is quite capable of beating anyone in the world," he added. "She spars with Paddy Barnes so she has plenty of good experience."

Michaela's team-mate, Alanna Audley-Murphy from Eastside ABC in east Belfast, is also fighting today in the Women's Light (57-60kg) quarter-final against Valerian Spicer of Dominica.

Stormont Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin spoke of her delight about the positive impact females were having on a traditionally male sport.

"I firmly believe in equality and commend boxing for making huge strides in tackling gender inequality in sport," she said.

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