Delicious Orie won the super heavyweight gold medal for England in the final match of the boxing tournament at the Commonwealth Games in his hometown of Birmingham on Sunday.
Orie showed off his skills in the first round, landing long-range throws at India’s Sagar Ahlawat.
But when the Indian male tennis player fiercely rushed to close the session to pocket the first round for all five judges, Orie needed to quickly change his approach.
Under pressure, he did it. In the second round, he stood up with his front foot and delivered a top right smack on Ahlawat’s chin. The Indian grabbed him in his arms and let a heavy punch go below his belt. But by the third and final inning, Orie had leveled the score.
For the Russian-born GB fighter, that was the focus of the final round. Orie stepped inside and swung the hard hooks. He started the game his way when Ahlawat suffered a severe cut to his left eye and the home crowd shouted Orie.
He scanned the final round for all five judges to get a unanimous decision.
Orie grabbed the announcer’s microphone to address the crowd in the arena.
“It’s possible to get what you want. I started boxing at 19. I represented England at 25 and I just won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. Yes. If you can, go out there and achieve whatever you want to achieve,” he said to a standing ovation.
Another local boxer, Lewis Williams from Leamington also won boxing gold, defeating Ato Leau Plodzicki-Faogali of Samoa in the 92kg final.
England teammates Demie-Jade Resztan and Kiaran MacDonald had to settle the gamble, losing to Indian pair Nitu Ghanghas and Amit Panghal, respectively. Lightweight Gemma Richardson joined them as British silver medalist as she lost to Northern Ireland’s Amy Broadhurst by one point.
Scottish boxing history was made when their team won three gold medals at the same Commonwealth Games for the first time.
Middleweight Sam Hickey is their star performer. After stopping Britain’s Lewis Richardson in the semi-final, a spectacular result, he defeated the excellent Callum Peters of Australia in the 75kg final.
“Believe in yourself and actually get in the ring and do something is different,” Hickey said.
“You have to be able to do a little bit of everything. I showed in this tournament, I can punch, I can fight, I can punch a little bit, I have a big future and I’m looking forward to it. Waiting to show what I can do in the next few years.”
Sean Lazzerini overcame Welsh talent Taylor Bevan to win lightweight gold for Scotland. Welterweight Reese Lynch won their team’s third gold medal when he knocked out Louis Collin of Mauritius in a split decision.
Lynch withstood a cut in the final round to contest the verdict his way.
“I said from the start that we could do great things and that put a bit of pressure on me after watching both of my teammates go out there and make gold,” said Lynch, a member of the GB team won said world championship medal in 2021.
“We’ve been together for so long and I always knew we could reach such levels. I’m so proud to be part of such a record-breaking team.
“Now my focus shifts to getting into the Olympics and adding to my medal collection.”
Eccles banishes ‘boxing curse’
Four years of bad luck were over for Rosie Eccles when the 26-year-old from Pontypool saved Australia’s Kaye Scott in the second half to win gold in the women’s light-middleweight division.
Eccles endured a controversial decisive defeat to England’s Sandy Ryan in the Gold Coast final four years ago and then missed a spot at the Tokyo Olympics when her body was attacked by a mysterious virus and she was denied a second chance by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’ve always been a very optimist, but even I was starting to think I had a boxing curse,” Eccles said. “I’m starting to think it’s not going to happen.
“Things just kept coming up – I got to the first qualifying round and got hit by the virus, then I was denied the chance to go to Tokyo. To get through all of this and win gold is amazing. “
Eccles forced Scott, a former world medalist, to do a standing count in the opening round and piled pressure in the second, dropping two more counts causing the referee to intervene and stop the contest.
“I think I can now get the silver medal out of the box,” added Eccles. “I kept it there for four years, even when I visit schools, but now I can say I’ll take it out because it’s part of my story and I can look at it with pride.”
The win is all the more impressive for Eccles, who is small for light-medium weight and would benefit more from the same weight class at the Paris Olympics, where the upper weight limit is 4 kg lighter. .
“Paris is definitely the target now and I’m going to be stronger with a lighter weight,” Eccles added. “I’ve always been pretty humble, but I think my time has come. You haven’t seen the best of me yet.”
Ioan Croft won another gold medal for Wales as he defeated Stephen Zimba of Zambia in the welterweight final.
Northern Ireland also made a strong comeback from this Olympics with 5 gold medals.
Brother and sister Aidan and Michaela Walsh won in light middle and featherweight respectively. Along with Broadhurst’s win, their teammates Dylan Eagleson and Jude Gallagher both took gold.