July 31, 2014
July 31, 2014
Josh Taylor

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JOSH TAYLOR and Sam Maxwell will box in the first light-welterweight semi-final on Friday (August 1). Both have been in superb form over the course of this tournament and Glasgow has embraced Scotland’s Taylor. Josh enjoys a standing ovation every time he enters the arena. With the decline of former world champion Ricky Burns’ fortunes, Taylor wants to become the new star of Scottish boxing.

“Anything can happen. I believe in myself. I’m going to be a world champion one day,” said Taylor, who is rising to the occasion in this tournament.

“As you’re coming out to the ring, the crowd does lift you a little bit, 10 per cent. But it would be the same if it was a crowd in England. It doesn’t matter either way the crowd is [leaning], it lifts you, that noise and the atmosphere lifts you an extra 10 per cent.”

Taylor looked sharp and dangerous when he beat Zack Davies in the quarter-final but Maxwell also put in a class performance against India’s Manoj Kumar, normally a real handful. Former team captain and fellow Liverpudlian Thomas Stalker, now a pro, had beaten Kumar twice (incidentally he’s also boxed both Taylor and Maxwell twice before too). Stalker gave Maxwell some advice on how to deal with the Indian. “He said as well hit him with a bit of your power, don’t let him just push you back,” Sam said. “Every now and then I started hitting him to the body, hard ones, just to stop him in his tracks and make him think before coming in. Keep it long and it paid off.

“This is the biggest thing in my career. Winning national titles is brilliant but on the international stage in front of millions of people watching at home, you can’t get any better than that.”

Sam and Josh are both team-mates on the GB squad but their friendship will be set aside for the contest, which should begin at around 2.30pm on Friday.

Semi-finals running order

Afternoon session (beginning at 1pm)

Female: 51kgs:

Michaela Walsh (Northern Ireland) v Pinki Rani (India)

Nicola Adams (England) v Mandy Bujold (Canada)

Male: 52kgs:

Muhammad Waseem (Pakistan) v Abdul Omar (Ghana)

Reece McFadden (Scotland) v Andrew Moloney (Australia)

56kgs:

Michael Conlan (Northern Ireland) v Sean McGoldrick (Wales)

Qais Ashfaq (England) v Benson Njangiru (Kenya)

64kgs:

Josh Taylor (Scotland) v Sam Maxwell (England)

Sean Duffy (Northern Ireland) v Junias Jonas (Namibia)

81kgs:

Kennedy St. Pierre (Mauritius) v Nathan Thorley (Wales)

Sean McGlinchy (Northern Ireland) v David Nyika (New Zealand)

91&kgs:

Joe Joyce (England) v Mike Sekabembe (Uganda)

Efe Ajagba (Nigeria) v Joseph Goodall (Australia)

Evening session (beginning at 6.30pm)

Female: 60kgs:

Alanna Audley-Murphy (Northern Ireland) v Shelley Watts (Australia)

Laishram Devi (India) v Maria Machongua (Mozambique)

75kgs:

Ariane Fortin (Canada) v Lauren Price (Wales)

Savannah Marshall (England) v Edith Ogoke (Nigeria)

Male: 49kgs:

Ashley Williams (Wales) v Devendro Laishram (India)

Paddy Barnes (Northern Ireland) v Fazil Kaggwa (Uganda)

60kgs:

Joe Cordina (Wales) v Charlie Flynn (Scotland)

Michael Alexander (Trinidad and Tobago) v Joe Fitzpatrick (Northern Ireland)

69kgs:

Tulani Mbenge (South Africa) v Scott Fitzgerald (England)

Mandeep Jangra (India) v Steven Donnelly (Northern Ireland)

75kgs:

Vijender Singh (India) v Connor Coyle (Northern Ireland)

Antony Fowler (England) v Benny Muziyo (Zambia)

91kgs:

Samir El-Mais (Canada) v Efetobor Apochi (Nigeria)

Stephen Lavelle (Scotland) v David Light

To read the full account of the preliminary stages of the Commonwealth Games don’t miss this week’s issue of Boxing News