Sluggish start costs Jake Tucker after Commonwealth campaign ends at first hurdle

Sluggish start costs Jake Tucker after Commonwealth campaign ends at first hurdle

Northern Irish middleweight Jake Tucker felt he did more than enough to win despite the judges saying otherwise as his Commonwealth Games debut ended at the first hurdle.

The Newry fighter was making his senior international debut at Birmingham 2022 but found himself on the wrong side of 3-2 points decision against Guernsey’s Billy le Poullain.

A sluggish start proved costly for Tucker in the Round of 16 contest, losing it on all five judges’ scorecards, ultimately leaving the Emerald ABC fighter with too much to do.

But while Tucker conceded that it was a close bout at The NEC, he insisted he deserved to take the win before vowing to learn from the experience and come back stronger.

“It was a close fight,” he said. “I thought I’d done enough to get it but obviously the judges have seen otherwise but it was a good fight and I wish him the best in the next round.

“I hope he goes on to win gold now but I will just hopefully get a few more major tournaments under my belt and show what I’m really capable of doing.

“I think I got off to a slow start in the first round but it’s all experience really. There’s no reason at all really and I wouldn’t say it was nerves so much.

“I think I was trying too hard to perfect everything, I wasn’t just letting my shots go and flowing but it’s all experience and I’ll be back and I’ll be stronger next time.

“I’ve never boxed in an atmosphere like that before, I loved it. I loved every minute of it, it’s just hard to take a loss in the first round like but it is what it is and I’ll be back.”

Le Poullain’s victory means he will face European silver medallist Lewis Richardson of England next, with the winner of the quarter-final securing a bronze medal at the very least.

“I hope that has put Guernsey and Alderney on the map,” said Le Poullain.

“I can't believe all the hard work and dedication that has gone in and now I'm only one fight away from a medal at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“It’s been an incredible experience. I grew up as a kid in Birmingham but moved to Alderney, then Guernsey and I think half the crowd were my relatives.

“I thought I nicked the fight and deserved it, especially after the first round when I could have won it 10-7. But he was a tough opponent as they all are at this level.”

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