Hill loses in semis

FIJIAN 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Winston Hill was gracious in defeat after his 69 kilogram semi-final loss on Friday night.

Like a true champion, Hill, after the fight, saluted the crowd, lifted the hand of his opponent during the announcement and walked out of the ring at Oxenford Studios on the Gold Coast with his head held high.

The show of Fijian sportsmanship was received with a huge applause from the crowd as the champion Fijian boxer exited the ring.

He is the first Fijian boxer after 36 years to win a medal in the games after the gold medal win by Sani Fine of Tonga who represented Fiji in the 1982 Commonwealth Games.

Fine, in the men’s light heavyweight division, beat Jonathan Kirisa of Uganda.

On Friday, the tale of the tape was against Hill, 24, and 1.72 metres tall.

His tall opponent had the reach and stayed away from the Fijian throughout the three rounds.

“The match was about style and tactics,” Hill said after the fight.

“Aidan had height advantage. He had good control of range and timing and ringcraft. His style of boxing gave him the upper-hand.”

The five judges ruled the three rounds to the North Ireland boxer 10-9.

“I am disappointed with the way the fight went. I tried to land punches. I tried to get in, but he knew how to get out. And that’s what I need to work on. As soon as I hit the gym again.”

Walsh avoided the Fijian throughout.

He avoided the ropes and always escaped quickly when Hill tried to trap him in a corner.

The Fijian champ said he would take a rest after reaching home on Monday.

“We are going to have a good sit down and go through my performances and review them.

“There is always room for improvement. Now it’s about rest and recovery because it has been a long and hard training camp.”

His coach Napoleon Taumoepeau called on authorities to improve the sport back home.

“Pauliasi Ratu and I are proud of him.

“We knew this guy (Walsh) was tough. We knew that he would not give away the first round,” Taumoepeau said.

“We tried to get his body which was easier said than done. That kid was a very good fighter and he was tall, he punched and run, and he was not willing to go toe to toe.

“Can we please get some resources, at least a fight once every month at home?

“We give thanks to God that He has put us on this platform. God exists for us.

“If this can inspire people back home and give us a gym and a national boxing academy for children and youths, this sport can be successful.”

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