AT about 9.30pm tonight England’s middleweight Antony Fowler will take on the host nation’s 75kgs Kieran Smith at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Fowler has defeated him before. He beat him handily three years ago, punishing him with heavy shots and driving Smith round the ring for a wide points win.
But that result could be deceptive. Fowler can’t afford to take the Scot lightly. Home advantage is significant. If Smith lands his jab, keeps on the move, doesn’t engage in a fight with Fowler, this could be a lot closer than expected.
“Obviously you have the crowd on his side, the judges will be watching, might be a little bit influenced by the crowd, the noise,” Antony said. “He’s a young lad, he’s talented. I beat him three years ago. Since then I’ve gone on to greater things. He hasn’t really improved much, he hasn’t really done much. Whereas I’ve picked up medals all over the world. I’ve had seven golds in international tournaments, I’ve got World bronze. What’s he done? Not being disrespectful, I’m confident going in.
“It was in London last time, my country. Now he might try to have a little go. That’ll play into my hands even more because he’s a counter-puncher. If he wants to come and get me he’s in for a shock.”
The path to gold is not easy. Fowler is on the radar of India’s star man, Vijender Singh, who is plotting his course through the tournament step by step. “Each fight is like a final fight,” Vijender Singh said. “I’m waiting for him, hopefully we will meet in the final.”
Other big names are in action today (July 28). Michael Conlan boxes Shiva Thapa at about 2pm, a top class bout. Paddy Barnes will have his first contest in these Games as does Nicola Adams. The Olympic gold medallist will be in the last bout tonight, expect to see her at around 11pm.
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