Northern Ireland boxer Michaela Walsh is ready to derail “golden girl” Nicola Adams and claim Commonwealth Games glory on Saturday.
Olympic champion Adams is a huge favourite to be crowned the first Commonwealth women’s boxing gold medallist by repelling the feisty challenge of Belfast flyweight Walsh at the 10,000-capacity Hydro in Glasgow.
Rising star Walsh sealed her dream final with a gutsy win over powerful Indian Pinki Jangra on Friday, coming on strong in the second half of the contest to squeeze a split decision on the three judges’ cards.
On facing Adams – who defeated Mandy Bujold of Canada – Walsh said: “Months ago I said my dream was to fight Nicola Adams in the Commonwealth final, and when I go to bed tonight I will dream of that gold medal hanging round my neck.
“I know if I perform to the best of my ability I can beat her.
“She is the golden girl and I’m only a baby but in the ring it’s a different story.”
Joining Walsh on the gold medal trail on Saturday will be Paddy Barnes, Michael Conlan and Joe Fitzpatrick.
Barnes breezed into his second consecutive light-flyweight final with a unanimous decision win over Uganda’s Fazil Kaggwa, while pal Conlan scraped through against Welshman Sean McGoldrick on a technical decision after sustaining a bad cut over his right eye from an accidental headbutt.
And Northern Ireland lightweight Joe Fitzpatrick also required treatment to a gash beneath his left eye after a straightforward win over Michael Alexander of Trinidad.
Conlan said: “I’m confident I’ll be fine for the final, I’ll pass the medical and there wouldn’t be a chance that I was going to miss the final.
“They’d have to cut my head off.”