Commonwealth Games 2002
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Boxing Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Lindsay and Moran progress
Martin Lindsay in action in his victory over Sri Lanka' Manju Wanniarachchi
Bantamweight Martin Lindsay says he must improve

England's Mark Moran and Northern Ireland bantamweight Martin Lindsay set up an all-UK quarter-final battle when they came through their opening contests in Manchester.

Kenyan officials were none too happy with Moran earning a 22-18 verdict over their man David Munyasia.

However, Liverpudlian Moran insisted that he had edged the outcome.

"He was coming forward at me in the second and third rounds but I was picking him off with the jab," said Moran.

"He was a strong lad so I'm well pleased with what was a good workout".

Moran looked the sharper boxer in the opening round but the Kenyan's all-action style started to trouble him in the second round.

open quote
I'll need to improve for my contest against Mark Moran
end quote
Martin Lindsay

However crucially, the Englishman produced a big final round to earn the verdict.

Irish national champion Lindsay felt he hadn't been at his best in his 26-20 win over battling Sri Lankan Manju Wanniarachchi.

"I'll need to improve for my next contest against Mark Moran," said the 20-year-old.

"At the same time, I always felt I was in control and I was a bit surprised by the closeness of the result at the finish".

Lindsay's victory was a considerable relief to Northern Ireland officials after the province's four hopefuls had all been beaten on the opening day of boxing action.

Moran claimed a close win over his Kenyan opponent
Mark Moran celebrates his win on Saturday

The bantamweight, tipped by many as a possible gold medalist, claimed that he hadn't felt under pressure despite Northern Ireland's dismal first day.

"I was boxing my own fight today but I think this result will boost the team for the rest of the competition."

Moran and Lindsay fought in Hungary two years ago when the Irishman claimed a narrow victory after the Englishman had sustained an injury.

"But that fight will have no bearing on Tuesday's contest," acknowledged Lindsay.

Lindsay's success wasn't repeated by his team-mate Paul McCloskey who was furious with the 20-15 verdict in favour of England's Darren Barker in the light-welterweight division.

McCloskey's only comment about the decision was unprintable.

However, Barker insisted he had won the fight.

"He was an awkward southpaw but I felt I certainly did enough in the final round to get the win," said Barker.

Jamie Arthur on the attack against Mark Hastie
Welshman Jamie Arthur beat Scotland's Mark Hastie

"It was a tough fight for me because although I hadn't fought him before, I knew he was one of the main contenders here after reaching the quarter-finals at the last Commonwealth Games," he added.

The victory made it six wins out of six in the opening stages for England as lightweight Andrew Morris had earlier stopped Jamaica's Courtney Harvey in the third round of their contest.

The Welsh team's 100 per cent record in the boxing competitions was also maintained by lightweight Jamie Arthur's 21-12 victory over Scotland's Mark Hastie.

However, Northern Ireland's dismal start to the boxing competitions was continued by light-middleweight's Gerard McAuley's 19-18 defeat by Foster Nkodo of the Cameroons.

A controversial standing count given to the Irishman in the final round proved crucial.

Light-middleweight Paul Smith's third round stoppage of Welshman Lee Jones maintained England's unbeaten run in the boxing competitions.

BBC's Mark Sidebottom
"It's been a disappointing day for NI boxers"
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