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Northern Irish boxers go for gold at Commonwealth Games

Nineteen-year-old Bangor bantamweight Dylan Eagleson was crowned Commonwealth champion after a magnificent comeback win against Abraham Mensah

Northern Ireland's Amy Broadhurst after the Women's Light (57-60kg) semi-final at the NEC on day nine of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham© PA

Sean McGoldrickIndependent.ie

Northern Ireland’s boxers have gone on a gold rush at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

With one final session still to come, the squad has already collected a record four gold medals and one silver in the National Exhibition centre.

All the team’s star fighters delivered on a historic day for the squad.

World lightweight champion Amy Broadhurst overwhelmed England’s Gemma Richardson in the gold medal fight.

The underdog was forced to take two standing counts as the Dundalk fighter took the Commonwealth title on a unanimous 5-0 verdict. All five judges scored the contest 30-25 in favour of Broadhurst.

Olympic bronze medallist Aidan Walsh won his first Commonwealth title having picked up a silver medal four years ago in the Gold Coast, Australia.

As expected, the West Belfast boxer had too much class for Tiago Muxanga from Mozambique in the light middleweight final.

Muxanga was forced to take a standing count in round one was Walsh eased to a unanimous 5-0 win on scorecards of 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28.

Nineteen-year-old Bangor bantamweight Dylan Eagleson, who won a silver medal at the European championship earlier in the summer, was crowned Commonwealth champion after a magnificent comeback win against Abraham Mensah from Ghana.

Mensah, who is also 19, had a great first round and got the nod from all but one of the judges.

But Eagleson dominated the rest of the fight winning the two remaining rounds on all five judges’ cards to take the gold medal on a unanimous 5-0 decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Meanwhile, for the second day in a row 20-year-old Jude Gallagher from Newtownstewart in County Tyrone didn’t have to break into a sweat as he won his first elite title at international level.

Having received a walk-over in Saturday’s semi-final he didn’t get a chance to box in the final either as his would be opponent Ghana’s Joseph Commey failed a medical test this morning.

Light flyweight Carly McNaul had to be content with a silver medal. A beaten finalists four years ago she was outclassed in her Birmingham final by Zareen Nikhat from India.

Tokyo Olympian and two-time Commonwealth silver medallist Michaela Walsh

takes on Nigerian Elizabeth Oshoba in the featherweight decider later this evening.

At the 2018 Games Northern Ireland also had six finalists but all ended up with silver medals.

The team still brought home a record haul of eight medals – six silver and two bronze – from Australia. This time they will bring home seven medals but at least four of them will be gold.

At only three previous Commonwealth Games, Edmonton (1978), Victoria (1994) and Edinburgh (2014) has Northern Ireland’s boxers won more than one gold medal in boxing.

In 1978 future World champion Barry McGuigan and Jimmy Hamill won gold; in 1994 Neil Sinclair and Jimmy Webb won gold while Olympic medallists Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan both won gold at the 2014 Games in Edinburg when the squad took home a record nine medals, two gold, two silver and five bronze.

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