Birmingham 2022: Akbar and Toussaint make it record 13 Three Lions in quarters
August 2, 2022 | by Matt Halfpenny
Victories for Harris Akbar and Sameenah Toussaint on day five means Team England will take a record-breaking 13 boxers through to the quarter-final stages of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games boxing tournament.
With 11 having already booked their place in the last eight at the NEC, the pair’s successes mean the Three Lions have eclipsed their previous highest number of competitors to reach this stage – 11 – achieved on the Gold Coast four years ago.
Yorkshire’s Akbar, from Bradford Police, was first to go in the afternoon session as he took on Jessie Lartey from Ghana.
The reigning European champion wasted little time in exerting his authority as he boxed on the front foot to take the first round unanimously.
It was the same story in the second, as he connected with swift combinations to leave the African struggling to make an impact.
With the pressure lifted, Akbar saw the clock down in the final round with ease to run out a 30-27 victor on all five judges’ scorecards and will now box again for a semi-final place in Thursday.
Londoner Toussaint was Team England’s final boxer to get underway in the Commonwealth Games tournament as she faced what was a much tougher assignment in the shape of the experienced Zoe Andrews of Wales at Under 57kg.
The Yeading ABC boxer, roared on by the home crowd, came out strongly to claim the perfect start by sweeping the first round board.
Andrews, from the Briton Ferry club, battled back strongly in the second to edge it on three of the judges’ scorecards to leave things in the balance.
But Toussaint, an England Boxing National Amateur Championships winner in December and recently promoted to the GB Boxing squad, boxed intelligently off the back foot in the final round and land some telling counter to prevail on a 4-1 split.
She will go again on Thursday, when six England boxers will compete in total, along with the seven Three Lions in action tomorrow.
Team Leader Darren Chapple said: “What this squad has achieved in terms of numbers making the quarters it through to the quarter-finals is phenomenal – and I’ve very proud of them.”
Day six Team England bouts
Women’s Under 75kg – Rady Gramane (Mozambique) v Kerry Davis (England), bout 11, approx. 2.30pm.
Men’s Under 75kg – Lewis Richardson (England) v Billy Le Poullain (Guernsey), bout 13, approx. 3pm.
Women’s Under 48kg – Magret Tembo (Zambia) v Demie-Jade Resztan (England), bout 2, approx. 6.15pm.
Women’s Under 50kg – Yetunde Egunjobi (Nigeria) v Savannah Stubley (England), bout 3, approx. 6.30pm.
Men’s Under 63.5kg – Louis Colin (Mauritius) v Joseph Tyers (England) bout 7, approx. 7.30pm.
Women’s Under 70kg – Eireann Nugent (Northern Ireland) v Jodie Wilkinson (England), bout 9, approx 8pm.
Men’s Under 80kg – Ashish Kumar (India) v Aaron Bowen (England), bout 15, approx. 9.30pm.
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