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Doherty's Commonwealth boxing dream ends

31 July 2002

Anthony Doherty was elbowed out of his quarterfinal in the morning boxing session from Wythenshawe.

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Welsh welterweight Anthony Doherty’s Manchester Commonwealth Games ended cruelly when he was stopped by a cut eye in the quarter-final against Namibian, Ali Nuumbembe.

Doherty, conqueror of England’s Daniel Happe in the second round, claims the cut above his right eye was caused by a blow from Nuumbembe’s elbow after just over a minute of the first round.

“I can’t believe it. It’s the first time I have ever lost because of being cut. He threw a right and I went to counter but as he came back he popped me with his elbow.

“He was made for me because he kept coming forward. I trained so hard for this and it’s just all gone down the drain for this.”

Scotland welterweight Colin McNeil, bronze medallist at the 1998 Games, also had his medal dreams shattered when his bout was stopped in the second round after slipping 15 points behind Kwanele Zulu from South Africa.

“He didn’t give me the chance to get going. He came out and surprised me in the first round.

“I knew I was down in the first round, but not by nine points. I thought I started to get into it more in the second round, but the judges obviously didn’t agree.

“It is well worth all the training and hard work to get to the Commonwealth Games, it has been a great experience for me. There is nothing I would rather be doing right now.”

London-based Tony Cesay representing Sierra Leone, who boxed for England up until these Games, missed out on a medal when was defeated in his welterweight quarter-final on points 25-13 by the Australian Daniel Geale.

Cesay said: “He is a good kid, taller than me with a longer reach which made it hard.

“I am lacking competition. I needed to fight more before these games. I am disappointed that I could not win a medal for my sponsors and my supporters in Sierra Leone.”

Canada’s Sebastien Gauthier won his hardest fight yet at the Games to progress to the flyweight semi-finals. Gauthier detonated a big right on Sri Lankan Amuruddha Rathnayake’s chin with his first punch and later in the first round sent his opponent tumbling for a mandatory count.

But Rathnayake recovered and came firing back in an absorbing contest that Gauthier won 28-19 on a points decision.

Also through to the flyweight semi-finals is South Africa’s Nzimeni Msutu, who triumphed 48-35 over Martin Mubiru on points despite being dumped on the canvas for a mandatory count in the first round and then being forced to take another count in the last session.

Msutu said: “The fight was tough, he was very strong, but I came back like a wounded lion.

“He was like most African fighters, strong and fast.”

Canadian, Jean Pascal overcame a slow start to overwhelm Australia light-middleweight Jamie Pittman, securing his place in the semi-finals with a 20-14 points decision.

Paul Smith won a gruelling fight with Thomas Awimbono of Ghana 21-17 to dispute a place in Saturday’s light-middleweight final with Scotland’s Craig McEwan, who beat South African Khotso Motau 16-13 on points.

Info News Service/np/pjt

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