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Page last updated at 15:03 GMT, Wednesday, 13 October 2010 16:03 UK

Commonwealth Games 2010: Northern Irish boxers triumph

2010 COMMONWEALTH GAMES
Venue: Delhi, India Dates: 3-14 October 2010 Coverage: Comprehensive live coverage across BBC TV, radio, online, BBC Red Button, mobile and BBC iPlayer services. Find full coverage details here. And a full schedule of events here.

Thomas Stalker

Home nations triumph in first boxing finals

Paddy Barnes led Northern Ireland to their finest-ever performance in the Commonwealth boxing ring as they won three titles in Delhi on Wednesday.

Compatriots Paddy Gallagher and Eamonn O'Kane also won titles, their country's first gold medals of the 2010 Games.

But two other team members, Thomas McCarthy and Steven Ward, lost title fights to Scotland's Callum Johnson and England's Simon Vallily respectively.

India's Manoj Kumar beat English light-welterweight Bradley Saunders to gold.

Fellow Englishman Tom Stalker beat Scot Josh Taylor 11-3 to win lightweight gold, while Welsh bantamweight Sean McGoldrick was narrowly beaten by Manju Wanniarachchi, 16-14 on count back, for Sri Lanka's first boxing gold medal at a Commonwealth Games for 72 years.

Paddy Barnes
Next year I'm going to be the champion of the world

Paddy Barnes

India's Suranjoy Mayengbam, who vanquished Pakistan's Haroon Khan in his semi-final, somersaulted into the ring to lift the flyweight title unopposed as opponent Benson Njangiru of Kenya, believed to be injured, did not show.

Paramjeet Samota added a third gold medal for India in the super-heavyweight category, comfortably defeating Tariq Abdul Haqq of Trinidad and Tobago 5-1.

Northern Ireland finish the 2010 Commonwealth contest at the top of the boxing medals table, with Barnes first to fight - and win - as Wednesday's 10 finals got under way.

"I've won the Olympic bronze medal and I'm the champion of Europe and the Commonwealth," said the victorious light-flyweight, who dispatched Jafet Uutoni of Namibia 8-4 to lift the title.

The win gave Barnes, who fought to bronze in Irish colours at Beijing 2008, Northern Ireland's first Commonwealth boxing gold medal for 16 years.

"I rank this equal to the others, and next year I'm going to be the champion of the world," he added.

Gallagher, who beat English welterweight Callum Smith, said: "I just went into my first fight thinking, 'I want to do the best I can'. When I got to the medal rounds I thought I had a chance.

"I had four tough fights to get here and to win gold is unbelievable."

O'Kane then added a third title with a comprehensive 16-4 victory over English former Big Brother contestant Anthony Ogogo, kissing a TV camera in jubilation as he celebrated beside the Delhi ring.

"Love to everybody is all I can say," said a delighted O'Kane.

Tom Stalker
It's a long way to 2012 and a lot can happen

Tom Stalker

"My wife and my child are my world - my wife said I was going to get gold from the start, and here I am.

"I gave up for six months, I planned to give up boxing, but we took it year by year, I won the European bronze and here I am now. It's an amazing year for me."

Light-heavyweight Johnson, brought up in Lincolnshire but fighting for Scotland through his grandparents' connection with the country, defeated McCarthy 8-1.

"I've been saying all week that I was going to do it. Commonwealth gold medallist - I've proved I'm the best in Britain," said Johnson.

"I've got to sit down and talk with my team about the Olympics. But I want to stand on that podium in London. You're going to see me in tears.

"I have made all the sacrifices. When my mates are out partying, I'm in bed at 10 o'clock because I'm up at seven running. You've got to sacrifice the party life and live the boxing life or you won't get anywhere."

Eamonn O'Kane

Mixed home nations fortunes in final bouts

English heavyweight Vallily made short work of Ward, the referee stopping the fight in the opening round for the former's third stoppage of the Commonwealth tournament.

"The job's done now, all the training and hard work has paid off - I'm buzzing," said Vallily.

"I knew he had the speed on him, that was the main thing, to get on top of that. I caught him and followed up with another hit, and that was it."

Saunders, from Stockton-on-Tees, felt a one-sided score-line against home favourite Kumar did not reflect the reality of his light-welterweight fight.

"I hit the lad more than twice," he told reporters. "But it's all a learning curve. It's the first time I've had five fights in a week and that takes its toll. It's all in the bank."

Liverpool lightweight Stalker declared himself "over the moon" to win his gold, adding: "I thought they were scoring for him in the first round but it was just a case of me pulling away and getting into the groove.

"This medal is going to mean so much to the folks back home. It's a long way to 2012 and a lot can happen, but I've just got to keep working and keep focused and keep my feet on the ground."



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see also
Controversy fails to faze Ogogo
12 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Ogogo leads home nations charge
11 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Home nations boxers on the charge
10 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games


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