Baku 2015: Joyce and Ashfaq dominate to guarantee bronze

22 June 2015 / 15:52

Qais Ashfaq and Joe Joyce both produced dominant displays to join Nicola Adams in the European Games semi-finals and guarantee Team GB three bronze medals.

Ashfaq was in fine form against Germany’s Omar El-Hag and secured the nod of all judges to take 3-0 victory in the bantamweight division.

The 22-year-old showed brilliant footwork as he evaded the strikes of his opponent and landed cleanly and consistently to win 30-27 29-28 30-27.

It means Ashfaq will now take on Belarusian Dzmitry Asanau in the semi-finals with a chance to box for gold at stake and the Leeds man knows the job is far-from done in Baku.

"Like I've said from the beginning, I've come here for that gold medal and until I get the gold medal the job's not done,” he said.

 "I'm looking forward to getting that gold medal in a few days and taking him home to Leeds."

"It sends a huge message. It just shows that I am No1 and if I keep performing I'll keep that No1 spot and that's what I'm doing."

Elsewhere Joyce produced another dominant display in the ring as he picked up his second first-round finish in as many bouts.

Joyce’s performance against Mantas Valavicius brought the curtain down on a fine day for Team GB’s boxers and the Commonwealth champion needed just 2:17 of the first round for his powerful striking clinic to pay dividends.

Valavicius was on the back foot from the off as Joyce controlled the centre and landed at will, first forcing the referee to give the Lithuanian a standing count before calling the bout in the Briton’s favour.

Next up for Joyce will be a chance to go secure his place in the gold medal match as he takes on France’s Tony Yoka.

"I saw the opening so I went in. I wasn't going for the stoppage, but I was relaxed and ready to go to work. He was just a bit unprepared for me," said Joyce. 

Earlier, Olympic champion Nicola Adams secured her progress to the women's flyweight semi-finals with a battling victory over Bulgaria's Stoyka Petrova.

Adams lost the first round against the last fighter to beat her but rallied to guarantee a medal in Baku.

But the Bulgarian vowed to have revenge in Rio in what could be one of the most exciting head-to-heads at next summer's Olympics.

"I don't argue with the decision of the judges," she said.

“The decision is the decision. I prefer to watch the match on video tape and then discuss how I did. Do I think I did enough to win? Obviously not.

"My opinion is that I should have met this opponent in the final. In every big championships we meet in the quarterfinals and this is not good for boxing. It is not my decision about whether there should be seeding. I am a boxer not an official.

"I hope to have my revenge at the Olympics in Rio. My goal is to be the champion there."

© Sportsbeat 2015