It has been a week of firsts for Scott Fitzgerald and a maiden Commonwealth Games gold medal would be the dream finish.
On his Games debut on Friday, Fitzgerald saw off Ron Bastien of St Lucia and became the first boxer to secure a stoppage victory in Glasgow.
Next up was a bout with Ghana’s Azumah Mohammed on Monday and the 22-year-old welterweight sustained an unwelcome first – a cut above the eye – in the opening round.
However, he battled through the setback – and a time out towards the end of the bout to stop the bleeding – to overturn a slow start and win by a unanimous points decision.
The victory moves Fitzgerald into the quarter-finals, where he will face New Zealand’s Bowyn Morgan on Wednesday and he expects to be back to full fitness for that contest as he continues his march at the Games.
“It’s my first ever cut though so it’s good experience to fight through three rounds with a cut,” said Fitzgerald. “There was no worry that we were going to stop the fight, it was just tidying it up.
“We’ve got top doctors here so I’ll be fine by Wednesday. It wasn’t a bad cut – it was dripping in my eye and messing about with my vision but it should be fine. It was a quite dirty fight. The one that cut me was possibly accidental but by the last round he got frustrated and he was grabbing me and slamming his head into me.
“I didn’t get in as many shots to the body as I would’ve liked but he was strong – I could’ve been hitting him with a hammer and he would’ve still come at me.
“I’ll sort the cut out by Wednesday, hopefully win that and push on from there to maybe win the gold medal.”
Fitzgerald, who knocked Bastien down just five seconds into their first-round encounter, clearly is not short on confidence at Glasgow 2014.
But with eight fighters still left in the men’s welterweight division, there is much to do before he can place himself on top of the podium. But that won’t stop the 22-year-old from dreaming about a fairytale ending to his first ever Commonwealth Games.
“I came to win gold and that’s what I still want, so I’ll concentrate on this next one,” he added. “Every fight is like a world title fight to me so I’ll try to win it and then we’ll think about the final.
“I’ve got [Morgan] in the next round and he’s a strong boy, as strong as the guy I’ve just fought so it was a good warm-up. I haven’t felt at my best yet and know I can go up a gear.”
Commonwealth Games England (CGE) leads and manages the participation of the Team England at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games. We work with sports, Sponsors and Sport England to support the development of athletes and their sports, and to achieve success at Games-time.