Boxing star Lynch credits tactical change for opening Commonwealth victory

Boxing star Lynch credits tactical change for opening Commonwealth victory

Scottish boxing hopeful Reese Lynch credited a tactical change after the first round as the key to his victory after coming from behind to reach the quarter-finals at Birmingham 2022.

The 21-year-old light welterweight from Fauldhouse had to dig deep in his Round of 16 contest against India’s Shiva Thapa after losing the opening round on all five judges’ scorecards.

But he showed his class over the remainder of the contest as the NEC got right behind him, securing the win on points in the eyes of four of the five judges to progress again.

And Lynch admitted a change to his game plan proved to be the turning point as he continued his quest to emulate Scottish undisputed world champion Josh Taylor’s gold at Glasgow 2014.

“I’m buzzing. He’s a brilliant boy so I knew I had to be at my best to beat him,” he said.

“I let the first round go just slightly and then came back in the second and third, just changed the tactics up a bit. I kept the hands a bit higher and tried stalking him down more.

“I just had to throw singles (punches) as he liked to meet my shots so I had to keep it long and keep it straight with the single punches but it was great to come through.

“I knew how close it was coming into the final round. I heard his crowd, the Indians going mad after the first round, so I knew I was down on the scorecards.

“Craig (McEvoy, Boxing Scotland performance director and joint national coach) said that to me in the corner as well, he said, ‘You need to come here and you need to keep the hands high’.

“He told me to just walk him down with the straights and to be fair to him, it worked. I’m just buzzing, absolutely buzzing with that result.”

Lynch became the first ever Scottish athlete to win a medal at the World Amateur Boxing Championships in November, claiming bronze in the light welterweight category.

He now has his sights focused on Commonwealth Games gold on his debut at Birmingham 2022, insisting there is no-one he is afraid of in his category when he’s at his best.

“When I first came out, maybe the nerves and stuff just getting out there, I was maybe a bit jumpy and he was good as well, he was really sharp and you had to be quick,” he added.

“Just having the fans maybe helped a little bit because I was trying to box in the certain way in the first round and then brought my hands up in the second and third.

“That’s when it started working and he couldn’t get his hooks off that he was trying. It’s just a brilliant feeling (coming through a fight like that), it gives you a buzz knowing you have that.

“I know I was down in the first round and I had to dig down in the last two rounds. It gives you a big confidence boost knowing you can just do that, when you need to do it, you can.

“When everyone is cheering and you can hear everybody shouting as well, it gets you up for it a bit and it’s brilliant. The reception is just mad in there.

“I can go for gold. I want to make it to the gold. I know my next fight is hard as well but I can beat these boys when I perform like that, I can beat anybody.”

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