Lewis Richardson said bronze was nothing to sniff at after being stopped in his pursuit of boxing glory at the Commonwealth Games.
Colchester’s Richardson arrived in Birmingham with golden dreams but had those dashed by the right hand of Scotland’s Sam Hickey with the referee waving off the fight in the second round.
Richardson beat Hickey at this year’s European Championships on his way to silver, but the Dundee dynamo returned the favour in style in Birmingham to consign the Englishman to a bronze medal.
Richardson said: “I thought it was close. In the build-up I felt fine, I got caught with a good shot, but I thought I got up fine and was ready to go but the referee saw it a different way.
“I was more than happy to go on, I felt fine in myself. It’s boxing, you get caught with good shots, but I got up quick and my hands were up.
“It’s a big achievement to win bronze but I only came here for one colour. I’m still proud to represent my country, I’m just disappointed it’s not gold.”
This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.
While Hickey was a man possessed with the thought of getting even, Richardson looked flat and off the pace, potentially the strain of making it to the semi-finals starting to take a toll.
While things did not go his way on the day, Richardson was composed enough to accentuate the positives of his stint in the second city.
He said: “It’s a positive still. I’ve had three good wins in the Commonwealth Games, hopefully I can push on and keep going because there’s still more to come.
“You have setbacks and you come back stronger, it’s just part of the journey.”
Hickey will advance to Sunday’s gold medal match against Australian Callum Peters but the respect between the two British fighters was clear for all to see.
The Scot said: “I caught him with a peach of a right hand. I knew the crowd was going to benefit me more than Lewis, he’s a brilliant boxer but he’s been playing up to the crowd in his fights and he’s been in a few wars.
“I’ve not been out of first gear, but I knew I was going to have to come out of that for this guy because he’s a brilliant operator.
“Shout out to Lewis, he’s a brilliant fighter but I was the better man on the day.”
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