TEAM NI: Michaela Walsh targets upset against Olympic champion Nicola Adams

Northern Ireland's Michaela Walsh celebrates beating India's Pinki Rani
Northern Ireland's Michaela Walsh celebrates beating India's Pinki Rani

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.”