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Medals assured by Aussie boxers

30 July 2014

COMM GAMES BOXING: Andrew Moloney and Joe Goodall are one win away from fighting for Commonwealth Games boxing gold medals.

Their quarter-final victories on Tuesday mean Australia is already assured of winning Games boxing medals for the first time in eight years after the team returned from Delhi in 2010 empty-handed for the first time since 1974.

Queensland lightweight Shelly Watts also won following a split-decision verdict over pre-Games favourite Natasha Jonas of England in her preliminary while teammate Kaye Scott accounted for her Kenyan opponent.

But there was disappointment for Perth light-heavyweight Jordan Samardali who was knocked out in just 43 seconds in his quarter-final against Kennedy St Pierre of Mauritius.

Moloney was hugely impressive in his unanimous points decision victory over highly-rated Northern Irishman Ruiari Dalton in the flyweight division.

The Victorian now faces a mouth-watering showdown with local favourite Reece McFadden, an aggressive front-foot fighter from Scotland, on Friday.

Gold Coast-based Goodall was far too good for the cumbersome Kieshno Major from the Bahamas in his super-heavyweight bout.

He'll now meet giant Nigerian Efe Ajagba in his semi-final and knows full well he'll face a far tougher test if he is to fight for gold at his first major Games.

"It's good to secure a medal, but it's all about getting gold," Goodall said.

"I am only halfway and I am now just thinking about the next fight ahead.

"The next fight is going to be harder. He's taller than me, rangy and throws a lot of punches. Very different to my last two opponents for sure."

The victory was particularly sweet for Moloney who was beaten at this stage in Delhi and missed out on a spot in the London Olympic team.

"It's the best moment of my career," Moloney told AAP.

"Delhi was a huge disappointment and missing London hit me hard.

"But I have come back well and although I lost at the world championships the experience was great."

Heavyweight hope Jai Opetaia is action on Wednesday against Efetobor Apochi from Nigeria with Kristy Harris taking on Mandy Bujold of Canada in the women's flyweight.

Watts takes on Lauren Price of Wales after exciting welterweight Daniel Lewis meets Mandeep Jangra of India.

Boxers march on in Glasgow  - 27 July

COMM GAMES-BOXING: Australia boxing coach Don Abnett says he couldn't have asked for a better start to the Commonwealth Games after another undefeated day in the ring on Day 3 of Glasgow 2014.

Tasmanian lightweight Nick Cooney and middleweight Mark Lucas from NSW both progressed after wins at the Glasgow SECC on Saturday.

It follows success by welterweight Daniel Lewis, super-heavyweight Joe Goodall and light-heavyweight Jordan Samardali on Friday.

Cooney's victory in the afternoon session was somewhat fortuitous with his opponent Muhammad Alnazirul Othman of Malaysia sustaining a facial laceration midway through the opening round.

The judges subsequently awarded the fight in the Australian's favour.

But there was nothing fortunate about Lucas' unanimous decision victory over Senanga Nawarantha of Sri Lanka, with the 25-year-old outclassing his opponent.

"It's been a great start, there's been some really good performances," Abnett told AAP.

"The fighters are all in a really great headspace and I cannot give our head coach Kevin Smith enough credit.

"He has been great since coming on board four months ago. Nothing has been won yet though, but we're happy with how we're travelling."

Lucas made it to Glasgow the hard way after missing six months of action with a broken right hand and then had to win 11 qualifying fights to earn his spot on the plane.

Among his victims was London Olympian Jesse Ross and he said that experience has been invaluable.

"Once I beat the bloke who went to the Olympics I was confident I could get here," Lucas told AAP.

"My attitude has been to not fear anyone but also take every fight seriously.

"As a team we're five from five and hopefully all the boys will make it through tomorrow."

Lucas will face Kenya's Otieno Nickson Abaka in the second round on Monday night with a potentially difficult potential quarter-final awaiting in the shape of Scotland's Kieran Smith or England's Antony Fowler.

"You can't overlook anyone, that is a mistake I've made in the past and I have to get through first," he said.

"Fowler is a very good fighter and he's beat me at the GB tournament. But that was a year-and-half ago and I've improved a hell of a lot.

"I've beat Smith before and I'd be confident of doing it again if I get through."

Sunday is another busy day for the Australians with four fighters in action.

Cooney has a short turnaround and faces a difficult test against Scotland's Charlie Flynn who will have the backing of the raucous home crowd in the afternoon session.

Perth's Samardali takes on Hugo Afasese Kalepi Fata of Samoa with highly-rated heavyweight Jai Opetaia involved in the final bout of the afternoon against Samoa's Filimaua Hala.

Flyweight Andrew Moloney will fight Nigeria's Wasiu Taiwo in the third fight of the evening.

Boxers off to strong start in Glasgow

COMM GAMES-BOXING: Welterweight Daniel Lewis has vowed to end Australia's Commonwealth Games boxing medal drought following a brutal demolition of Sierra Leone's Mohammed Sillah.

Lewis controlled the fight from the opening bell on Friday and late in the second round unleashed a brilliant series of combinations that forced the Moroccan referee to end the contest following a standing count.

The 20-year-old, whose parents jetted in from Sydney on Thursday, will now face Nigeria's Kehinde Ademuyiwa for a place in the quarter-finals on Monday.

Four years ago in Delhi, Australia failed to bring home a Commonwealth Games boxing medal for the first time since 1974 and Lewis said he's determined to change that.

"I am not worried about looking at the draw, there is nobody there that really frightens me," Lewis told AAP.

"I was really happy with how I fought and to do so well in front of my parents who've spent a lot of money to come out here was a great."

Lewis qualified for the world championships in Kazakhstan last year but went down in disappointing fashion in his first-round clash against Kenya's Rayton Okwiri.

However, he said the experience was invaluable and he's improved massively as a fighter since.

And with Olympic silver medallist Fred Jones from Wales ruled out of the competition due to accreditation problems, Lewis knows the draw is wide open.

"It was pretty devastating to lose in the first round at the worlds, but they say every defeat you learn from," he said.

"I am better fighter now and feel I can go far here in Glasgow. There are some good fighters, but I am not worried about anyone else but myself."

Earlier on Friday Australian super-heavyweight Joe Goodall progressed with a unanimous points decision win over New Zealand's Patrick Mailata.

The Queenslander started slowly against the inexperienced Mailata, but found his groove in the later rounds to book a quarter-final against Kieshno Major from the Bahamas.

Perth light-heavyweight Jordan Samardali also progressed beating St Luicia's Ryan Charles despite a standing eight count in the second round.

Saturday sees Nick Cooney take on Malaysian Muhammad Alnazirul Othman in the lightweight competition with middleweight Mark Lucas fighting Senanga Nawarathna from Sri Lanka.

Ian McCullough

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