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Taste the Difference: A look at the winners from the 2022 Commonwealth Games

Delicious Orie (blue) of Team England competes against Sagar Sagar (red) of Team India during the Men's Boxing Over 92kg (Super Heavyweight) Gold Medal Bout (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)
Matt Bozeat wraps up how the home nations fared in the finals, and a star is born at super-heavy

THE Commonwealth Games got the perfect ending.

Delicious Orie had feverish support in Hall Four at the NEC, Sagar Ahlawat had hundreds cheering for him as well, and the super-heavyweights pair served up three rounds of pure theatre.

The scores were tied at 19-19 on all the cards going into the last and the gold medal may have been decided in the closing 20 seconds.

From midway through the second, Ahlawat (India) had been launching southpaw lefts and then smothering Orie, denying him the chance to work.

But in those dying moments, Orie found some room on the inside and cracked Ahlawat on the chin with a clean right uppercut. The crowd erupted and all five judges gave Orie the final round.

Orie, who lost the opening round on all the cards, wept as his hand was raised.

Ahlawat ended the fight with a cut on his left eyebrow, picked up after heads clashed in the last.

Lewis Williams also struck gold for England. The 23-year-old from Leamington unanimously outpointed Samoan southpaw Ato Plodzicki-Faoagali at heavyweight.

As was the way in his previous three contests, Williams used his size and speed to dominate a shorter opponent.

He won all three rounds on every card and rocked Plodzicki-Faoagali several times in the last.

Northern Ireland enjoyed their best-ever Commonwealth Games, claiming five golds.

Brother and sister Aidan Walsh and Michaela Walsh, silver medallists four years ago, won gold after winning the men’s light-middleweight and women’s featherweight finals, respectively. 

Going into their 71kgs final, Aidan was known as a mover and Tiago Muxanga (Mozambique) had a puncher’s reputation, but late in the first Walsh scored a knockdown. 

After that, he got on the back foot and Muxanga didn’t land a clean blow until midway through the last.   

Aidan was first to congratulate Michaela after she boxed smartly on the outside to unanimously outpoint Elizabeth Oshoba (Nigeria).

Irish teenager Dylan Eagleson was one of the day’s outstanding performers.          He trailed on four of the five cards after the opening round of the bantamweight final against Abraham Mensah.

The 19-year-old reacted by ditching his backfoot boxing to go toe-to-toe with the strong Ghanaian.

The tactic worked. Eagleson boxed superbly on the inside to win the last two rounds on all five judges’ cards for a unanimous points win. 

World champion Amy Broadhurst was another gold medallist for Northern Ireland, outpointing England’s willing Gemma Richardson at 60kgs, and teenage featherweight Jude Gallagher took home gold after Joseph Commey (Ghana) pulled out of their final.

Carly McNaul finished with silver after world champion Zareen Nikhat (India) won their light-flyweight final.  

Scotland had three gold medal winners, including middleweight Sam Hickey.  

His final against Australian teenager Callum Peters was the best of the day.

In his previous three contests, Peters had walked through his opponents’ best shots and outworked them, but Hickey stood with him in the centre of the ring for three rounds and beat him on a deserved 3-2 split.

Sean Lazzerini was another gold medallist for Scotland, edging out Taylor Bevan (Wales) at light-heavyweight.

This was also desperately close and Lazzerini may have won the fight in the closing 10 seconds when he landed a pair of thumping left hooks on the Welshman’s chin.

Lazzerini, who kept his defences tight when Bevan let his hands go and saved his best work until the final minute of every round, won the last on four of the five cards to take a 4-1 split.

Reese Lynch gave Scottish fans more reason to cheer, completing a superb tournament by outpointing Mauritius veteran Louis Colin in the light-welterweight final.

The close second round went Lynch’s way on three of the cards and that left Colin with too much to do. He put everything into the last round and gave Lynch a count in the dying seconds.

Welsh punching machine Rosie Eccles capped an impressive campaign by overwhelming Kaye Scott (Australia) for gold at 71kgs.

Eccles was straight on to the front foot unloading trademark combinations to head and body and Scott couldn’t keep her off.

Eccles, silver medallist at welterweight four years ago, gave her a count in the first round and two more in the second before it was waved off.

Ioan Croft was another gold medallist for Wales. The 20-year-old southpaw showed superb composure when Stephen Zimba (Zambia) flew at him to land the cleaner punches and win unanimously.

The day started with a pair of England-India duels, and both went the way of the visitors, leaving Demie-Jade Resztan and Kiaran MacDonald to settle for silver.

Resztan was unanimously outpointed by southpaw Nitu Ghanghas, who kept her on the end of her long, straight combinations in their minimumweight final and forced a count in the last.

MacDonald was also beaten unanimously, by Amit Panghal in a clash of quality left handers.

The shorter Panghal has learned how to dodge punches, time his raids from the outside and have the last word in the exchanges. He did that effectively against MacDonald, who had his moments early in the bout and later, after an accidental clash of heads in the second left him cut over his right eye and he upped the tempo.

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