Croft brothers making waves as boxing continues at Commonwealth Games

Croft brothers making waves as boxing continues at Commonwealth Games

Boxing twin brothers Ioan and Garan Croft no longer have the luxury of flying under the radar at the Commonwealth Games.

The Crymych pair both sailed through their round of 16 fights by unanimous decision with expectations high that they can both raid the podium at their debut major Games.

All five judges favoured Ioan in all three rounds as he put paid to Mauritius rival Jean Jordy Vadamotoo.

Coming in as a European senior bronze medallist and junior silver medallist at welterweight brings a new kind of expectation for the 20-year-old.

He said: “To be honest it’s probably the first time I've ever been coming in as one of the favourites, so it's all a bit new, I’m normally the underdog.

“I think I've earned my right to be where I am. I’m not going to take anyone easy, it’s a boxing match at the end of the day, one punch can change everything.

“I’m going to treat every opponent with the utmost respect.”

And Garan was clean and tidy in a clinical unanimous win over Nigeria’s Abdul-Afeez Osoba in front of a partisan NEC crowd.

He said: “He’s an experienced boy and an African silver medallist, so I knew he’d be tough, strong, and relentless. I out jabbed him and started throwing some big shots.

“I felt I got the better of every exchange we had, and I’m chuffed with that.”

This summer, Team Wales, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, compromises of over 200 athletes, all vying for medal success.

Both twins have earned coveted spots on the GB Boxing programme in the last year and shone at their maiden World and European Championship appearances.

Garan said: “We’ve shown some real maturity in the last year, we’re a lot younger than some of the boys here. I’ve already done more than I could hope for this year.

“We’ve not been in the senior ranks that long. We’ve made a big impression in the last few months and we’re starting to get well known in Europe and around the world.

“We’re one of the favourites to go on and win medals now and it’s great to do it in front of a home crowd.”

A freak of the light middleweight draw means that three medal favourites will collide before medal finals.

Garan will face the winner of what promises to be an epic fight between Olympic bronze medallist Aidan Walsh, representing Northern Ireland, and England’s Harris Akbar.

He said: “I’m not thinking about that, I’ll let those two battles out first. It’s one fight at a time.”

The pair are unanimous in relishing competing on teams together.

Ioan said: “We’ve always been beside each other so it would be odd to be any different. It’s good to have him here, I’m always relaxed when he’s around.”

Garan added: “Before our fights we were in the changing rooms together for two hours and we don’t even speak to each other.

“It’s not awkward, we just sit there and don’t say anything. It’s odd, we’re not very affectionate usually but before we box, we have a hug.

“We’re proud of each other, definitely, we want each other to do all the way.”

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