Barnes, Conlan and Walsh secure bronze

Published Wednesday, 30 July 2014
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A total of nine local boxers are now guaranteed at least bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games following further quarter-final wins in Glasgow.

Barnes, Conlan and Walsh secure bronze
Michael Conlan was the first of six NI boxers to win on Wednesday. (© PA)

Michael Conlan, Paddy Barnes, Michaela Walsh, Alanna Audley-Murphy, Steven Donnelly and Connor Coyle were all victorious on Wednesday to ensure they will return to Northern Ireland with medals.

It follows wins for Joe Fitzpatrick, Sean Duffy and Sean McGlinchy on Tuesday - and means Team NI now has 11 guaranteed medals across all sports, exceeding the 10 won in Delhi four years ago.

Belfast man Conlan started a day of remarkable success as he beat Bashir Nasir of Uganda on a unanimous decision to secure his place in the last four of the men's bantam division.

The 22-year-old will now face Sean McGoldrick of Wales in Friday's semi-finals, where he will have a shot at competing for gold.

Conlan tweeted: "Well guys that's no.3 down, did what I needed to do and won easy without any damage, box defending champ from Wales on Friday I can't wait!!"

Paddy Barnes, who won gold in the light flyweight at the 2010 Delhi Games, beat Charles Keama of Papua New Guinea by technical knockout in round three of their fight.

The defending champ and favourite will go on to face Fazil Juma Kaggwa of Uganda on Friday.

Barnes said: "Sometimes I rushed it a bit much but it was good. Bronze medals are only a token of appreciation for entering the competition. All it means it that you took part in something."

Unless you get the gold it’s not worth talking about

Paddy Barnes

Michaela Walsh also secured bronze in Glasgow on Wednesday after winning all four rounds of her women's fly quarter-final.

The 21-year-old from Belfast, who made history by becoming the first female to box at the Commonwealth Games, beat Sarah Joy Rae of Jamaica.

She will now fight Pinki Rani of India on Friday.

Walsh said: "I believe if I perform to the best of my ability I can go all the way. People ask me about Adams but that's not until the final. I'm a big fan of Nicola and I've followed her throughout her career. I'm going for one colour and one colour only."

And team captain Barnes also backed Walsh to give Adams a run for the gold should they meet.

He said: "She spars with me 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."

Belfast boxer Alanna Audley-Murphy also secured her bronze medal following a tough women's light quarter-final against Valerian Spicer of Dominica.

The 28-year-old won on a split decision and will fight Shelly Watts of Australia on Friday.

Alanna said: "I'm glad it's over and I'm glad I got the win, the nerves are out of the way and on to the next one on Friday."

Steven Donnelly, who is 25 and from Ballymena, upset Custio Clayton of Canada in the men's welterweight to book a semi-final meeting with Mandeep Jangra of India.

After beating the world number eight, the Co Antrim man said: "He was a high-quality opponent.

"He was the favourite and I was treating that as my final, but that doesn't mean that the rest will be easy. He was world number eight so my confidence has definitely gone up."

Last to fight was Derry 24-year-old Connor Coyle.

He won by unanimous decision over Siphiwe Lusizi of South Africa in their men's middle fight to become the ninth NI boxer to secure at least bronze.

Connor said: "It's a magnificent feeling to win a medal and gives you much more adrenaline. It's unbelievable but I'm nowhere near as good as I can perform yet."

Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín praised the success of the boxing team.

She said: "This is a truly remarkable achievement by the boxers. We sent a team of 11 to the Commonwealth Games and nine of them will return home with medals. I congratulate these boxers on their herculean efforts and offer them my best wishes for their next contests on Friday."

© UTV News
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2 Comments
Franco in Belfast wrote (141 days ago):
How do we create such good boxers in NI , Caldwell , McCourt, Rinty M, C Frampton, Barns, Conlan and that is only a few there is lots more, is it in the water? the coaches such as G Storey are world class, from such a small country it really is a pride thing , Barnes and Conlan are special and so confident when they speak, hope they all get a reception in City Hall when they come back they deserve it one and all. + trainers
Michael in Templepatrick wrote (142 days ago):
Making us all proud over here Michael. Well done and good luck.
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