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Preston boxer Lisa Whiteside wins semi-final and will fight for Commonwealth Games gold

Lisa Whiteside
Lisa Whiteside

Lisa Whiteside may force the great Barry McGuigan to switch allegiances on Sunday as the Preston puncher goes for Commonwealth Games gold in Australia.

The 1978 Commonwealth Games bantamweight champion contacted Whiteside ahead of her flyweight semi-final on Saturday to wish her well.

And he is not the only big name boxer to get in touch, with the current heavyweight champion of the world, Anthony Joshua, also offering his best wishes as Whiteside goes for gold on Saturday.

The 32-year-old overcame both the home crowd and her opponent to make the final as she won a split decision over Australia’s Taylah Robertson in Friday’s semi-final.

And she will now face Northern Ireland’s Carly McNaul for the golf medal.

“The feedback I am getting from home is great,” she said.

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“Not just from my friends and family, it’s from the unknown, from celebrities, people within the boxing world saying ‘wow, you dominated that fight against India, we didn’t think it was a split’.

“I’m just overwhelmed and now it’s time to rest, recuperate and bring that gold home on Saturday.

“I had a message this morning off Barry McGuigan, saying he’s super chuffed about how I’ve done and wishing me all the best - he’s an absolute gent of a man.

“And also Anthony Joshua, he’s part of our family at GB boxing. Natasha Jonas too, she’s one of my best friends.

“I’ve got a Northern Irish girl next but Barry will still be with me!"

Elsewhere on the gold coast Charlie Bowling picked up a bronze medal in the 65kg wrestling, overcoming Mauritian Jean Guyliane Bandou in the podium play-off.

Earlier in the day Westhoughton’s Bowling lost to Wales’ Kane Charig, but with the Welshman going on to make the final that meant Bowling qualified for the bronze medal match.

And he took full advantage of his second chance as he beat Bandou 10-0 to seal the medal.

“It’s been amazing. It’s been a tough road but I’ve got the medal and I’m really happy,” he said.

“I’ll celebrate with my family, my dad’s here supporting and some friends from back home too.

“It’s always hard coming off a loss, but I just had to get my head up and I knew how I could wrestle.

"Everyone’s a good competitor in that weight class. But I’ve had good preparation.

“It’s been a long three years preparing for this, so I was confident in my ability.

"I wasn’t surprised by how strong the Welsh guy was. I’ve wrestled him before and he’s a tough wrestler and we know each other’s styles.”

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