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Commonwealth Games: N. Ireland look for golden return from boxers

Boxing enters the semi-final stage in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Friday (August 1) with Northern Ireland on course to better their haul of three gold medals they collected in New Dehli four years ago.

GLASGOW: Boxing enters the semi-final stage in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Friday (August 1) with Northern Ireland on course to better their haul of three gold medals they collected in New Dehli four years ago.

One of the favourites to do well is Paddy Barnes, who will attempt to defend the light flyweight title he won in New Dehli four years ago when he takes on Fazil Juma Kaggwa from Uganda. Barnes is one of nine boxers from Northern Ireland competing in the semi-finals and who are all guaranteed at least a bronze.

Scotland will be hoping for a first ever Commonwealth heavyweight champion when Stephen Lavelle goes up against David Light of New Zealand in their last four bout. The victor will face either Canada's Samir El-Mais or Efetobor Apochi of Nigeria in the final.

Scotland's other hopes rest on the shoulders of Reece McFadden in the men's flyweight while Josh Taylor is one of the favourites to clinch gold in the light-welterweight competition. Taylor will take on English boxer Samuel Maxwell for a place in the final.

Tulani Mbenge is already guaranteed to win South Africa's first boxing medal since 2006 but he will want to emulate the gold won by Bongani Mwelase in Melbourne. The South African will take on Scott Fitzgerald of England for a place in the men's welterweight final.

Fitzgerald is one of seven English fighters left with a chance of a gold medal with Joseph Joyce taking on Mike Sekabembe of Uganda for a place in the super-heavyweight final.

English fighter Nicola Adams is still on course to add a Commonwealth gold medal to her Olympic title. Standing between Adams and a place in the final is Canada's Mandy Bujold, who eliminated Australia's Kirsty Harris. Joining them in the last four on Friday are Michaela Walsh from Northern Ireland and Pinki Rani of India.

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