Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland's Commonwealth boxing medal haul rises to NINE: Paddy Barnes, Steven Donnelly and Connor Coyle add to tally

Northern Ireland's female boxers secure another two medals in afternoon session

By John Mulgrew

Northern Ireland's burgeoning Commonwealth Games boxing medal haul has risen to nine after a clean sweep in the ring on Wednesday.

Londonderry man Connor Coyle finished off a night of stunning boxing prowess with a middle-weight win over Guyana's Dennis Thomas.

Steven Donnelly found himself up against a tough Canadian opponent in the form of Custio Clayton during their welterweight clash.

But the Ballymena boxer powered through, winning all three rounds.

Earlier, double Olympic medalist, and defending Commonwealth fighter Paddy Barnes defeated Charles Keama from Papua New Guinea in the light-flyweight bout.

It didn't take the Belfast man long to show his dominance in the ring, delivering a series of quick left and rights in the first round.

It was nearly all over during a standing count in the second, with a third cut very short thanks to a technical knock-out.

It was our female boxers that stole the show in the afternoon, with flyweight Michaela Walsh enjoying a unanimous victory over Jamaican Sarah Joy Rae.

The win made her Northern Ireland's first female boxing medallist in the Games.

The 21-year-old joined England's Nichola Adams in the semi-finals, and is likely to face Adams in the final, provided she dispatches tough Indian Pinki Jangra next.

Many remain confident of Walsh's chances should she square off against the Olympic champion, with her team-mate from the Holy Family club in Belfast, Paddy Barnes, saying: "What you've seen from Michaela is just a fraction of what she can do.

"She spars with me in the club and she gives me lots of trouble. You heard it from me first - if they fight in the final, I'm telling you she'll beat Nicola Adams," he said.

A second medal for the local dominant boxing contingent soon followed Walsh's win - with Alanna Audley-Murphy's valiant win over Valerian Spicer in the women's lightweight quarter-final.

Earlier on Wednesday, Olympic bronze medalist Michael Conlan secured a medal after victory against Uganda's Bashir Nasir during their bantamweight clash.

Today's wins come after three of our boxers secured at least three bronze medals after quarter-final wins in Glasgow on Tuesday.

Sean McGlinchy landed the third local medal of the night, after defeating Kenyan Elly Ajowi Ochola.

The Derry man's win came after Armagh's Sean Duffy landed the second secured bronze.

He defeated Malaysia's Khir Akyazlan Azmi in the light welter-weight quarter-finals.

His victory followed Immaculata's Joe Fitzpatrick, who beat Kenya's Nicholas Okongo Okoth.

But Fitzpatrick - who won after unanimous verdict in during his lightweight quarter-final in Glasgow - suffered while battling his opponent in the form of a bloody wound under his left eye.

He's was the first of Northern Ireland's increasingly dominant contingent of boxing talent at this year's games.

Hopes are now the 19-year-old can add some silver, or gold, to Northern Ireland's Commonwealth medal tally.

Further reading

Commonwealth Games: Boxing trio are as pleased as punch after super night in ring

Commonwealth Games: World-class boxers Barnes, Conlan, Coyle and Donnelly can open the medal floodgates 

Commonwealth Games: Classy lords of the ring Barnes and Conlan really pack a punch

Commonwealth Games: boxers need to punch above their weight to address Northern Ireland's paltry medals haul

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