Boxing

James McGivern happy to spread 'a bit of fear' after second round stoppage

James McGivern got off to a winning start in Australia yesterday, stopping Zambia's Emmanuel Ngoma in the second round. Picture by Mark Marlow

IT was the perfect start for James McGivern – and the talented 20-year-old admits it was “good to put a bit of fear into people” after opening his Commonwealths campaign with a second round stoppage yesterday.

McGivern simply had too much for Emmanuel Ngoma, forcing his opponent into a standing account before dropping the Zambian shortly after to set up a quarter-final showdown with Jean John Colin from Mauritius tomorrow morning.

The St George’s ace sounded understandably fresh hours after that win, and is anticipating big things in the days ahead.

“I could’ve done another four or five rounds there, no worries,” he laughed.

“I was just too sharp for him. The first round I was a bit sloppy but in the second round he was walking on to my shots, and I knew I could get it over and done with.

“Since we got to the village I’ve been doing pads with John [Conlan] and he’s been telling me I’m hitting really hard and that I can knock boys out.

“When he was doing my wraps up today I looked at him and said ‘I give this fella four minutes, and it’s the left hand that’s going to do it’. I just knew I was going to drop him, then lo and behold…

“It was a good start - I’m glad to get it out of the way and put a bit of fear into people.”

And, having been sat in the stands at Oxenford Studios every day so far, McGivern was delighted to finally get between the ropes himself.

He added: “So far I’ve just been jealous of all the lads getting to have a go and me having to wait. Seeing them all do their ring walks and stuff, seeing the cameras I was just thinking ‘this is where I belong, this is where I thrive’.

“I was really looking forward to getting in and getting it done - it was everything I expected, it was amazing. From being in the warm-up room getting my wraps done to the ring walk, it was just class.”

However, he admits the loss of joint captain Sean McComb on Sunday hit the team hard.

The Holy Trinity southpaw bowed out after a nip and tuck defeat to English rival Luke McCormack, a fight which McGivern believed McComb had done enough to win.

“That was essentially the final,” he said.

“The first round was close because it was quite cagey but I thought he won all three rounds with the cleaner work.”

“We were all saying today we felt a bit tired because we were totally emotionally invested in it – I was roaring my heart out the whole time, I really wanted him to win, and when the decision came about I was actually upset myself. The whole team was.”

McGivern is on the same side of the draw as England’s Calum French and Indian Manish Kaushik, with the winner of that clash waiting in Friday’s semi-final for whoever progresses between McGivern and Colin.

And the Belfast man is sticking by his pre-tournament plan to focus solely on himself and not worry about the rest.

“As I said before, I don’t really do a lot of scouting,” he continued.

“I’ll let them worry about me. The next fight will be the same as today, I’ll take a couple of seconds to suss out how this boy works and then, between me, John, Dee [Kennedy] and Peter [Brady], we’ll create a game-plan to win.”

Michaela Walsh is in action this morning against Botswana’s Keamogetse Kenosi. Picture by Hugh Russell

WALSH SIBLINGS TO LEAD THE CHARGE ON BIG DAY FOR TEAM NI

THE Walsh siblings, Aidan and Michaela, lead the charge on a potentially huge day for the Team NI boxers that could see another five medals added to the one already secured by Kristina O’Hara on Sunday.

O’Hara overcame Lynsey Holdaway to ensure she returns to Belfast with at least a bronze, and she has the opportunity to change that tomorrow morning when she faces New Zealand’s Tasmyn Benny in the 48kg semi-final.

Five fighters have the opportunity to join her today, with Aidan and Michaela both in action. 2014 silver medallist Michaela begins her campaign against Botswana’s Keamogetse Kenosi in the early hours, with welterweight hope Aidan taking on New Zealand’s Leroy Hindley at around 10.45am this morning.

In between, heavyweight Damien Sullivan faces home favourite Jason Whately in the 91kg quarter-final, while bantamweight Kurt Walker steps up his bid for gold against Moroke Mokhotho.

The 27-year-old from Lesotho qualified for the Rio Olympics at flyweight, but lost in his first bout to Morocco’s Achraf Kharroubi.

Finally today, super-heavy Stephen McMonagle is up against Kiwi Patrick Mailata, though there are more leading the medal charge early on tomorrow.

Rio Olympian Brendan Irvine, who easily saw off Jabali Breedy from the Bahamas in their last 16 clash yesterday, faces Rajab Mahommed (Botswana), O’Hara takes on Benny, and Alanna Nihell aims to replicate her bronze medal from four years ago when she takes on England’s Paige Murney.

The pair have a bit of previous, having met in the 64kg semi-final of the English national championships in 2016, with Murney getting the nod on a split decision on that occasion.

However, boxing at Nihell’s more familiar 60kg, she will be keen to even up that score.

SCHEDULE

TODAY

57kg quarter-final: Michaela Walsh v Keamogetse Kenosi (Botswana) (3.15am approx)

91kg quarter-final: Damien Sullivan v Jason Whately (Australia) (6.15am approx)

56kg quarter-final: Kurt Walker v Moroke Mokhotho (Lesotho) (9.30am approx)

69kg quarter-final: Aidan Walsh v Leroy Hindley (New Zealand) (10.45am approx)

91+kg quarter-final: Stephen McMonagle v Patrick Mailata (New Zealand) (12.15pm approx)

TOMORROW

48kg semi-final: Kristina O’Hara v Tasmyn Benny (New Zealand) (3.15am approx)

60kg quarter-final: Alanna Nihell v Paige Murney (England) (4.15am approx)

52kg quarter-final: Brendan Irvine v Rajab Mahommed (Botswana) (5.15am approx)

75kg quarter-final: Steven Donnelly v Henry Tyrell (Samoa) (5.45am approx)

51kg quarter-final: Carly McNaul v Ayisat Oriyomi (Nigeria) (9.45am approx)

60kg quarter-final: James McGivern v Jean John Colin (Mauritius) (11am approx)

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