6th Jul, 2022

Boxing star Bowen defies all odds to bag Youth Commonwealth Games gold in Bahamas

BOXING: COVENTRY’S Aaron Bowen defied all odds to win gold at the Youth Commonwealth Games last weekend in the Bahamas.

However there was little time for the 18-year-old to reflect on his triumph as he immediately jetted home so he could make it to work at 9am on Tuesday morning.

The former Cardinal Newman student had to defeat Joseph Mickelle from Trinidad and Tobago in the quarter final before winning on points in the semi final against Kyle Chen from New Zealand.

His semi-final efforts earned him a spot in the gold medal fight against the well respected – and undefeated – Northern Irish fighter Kane Tucker.

Although Tucker had never lost before, Bowen – who now boasts a record of 25 wins from 30 fights – won on points, landing his biggest success in the ring to date.

Speaking to The Observer, the Coundon-based fighter – who trains five times a week – said he now has one eye on the Olympic Games.

He added: “At the moment I’m taking it fight by fight.

“But looking ahead I do want to go down the Team GB route and my short-term goal is to reach the Olympics. Long-term I’d like to win a world title and go all the way.”

This year’s Youth Commonwealth Games marked the 17th hosting of the event.

It was first held in Edinburgh at the turn of the millennium and has since travelled across the globe visiting countries including Australia, India, and Samoa.

The Games are held every four years and invites competitors aged between 14 and 18 to compete in the usual variety of sports such as athletics, archery, swimming, hockey, and more.

Fighting in the Bahamas provided Bowen with a new challenge – and he admitted settling into the ‘pressure cooker’ of the Youth Commonwealth Games proved tough.

He added: “The level in the Bahamas was tough, and it was a big occasion which made things harder.

“I was boxing for a medal against some of the best fighters in the world.

“They all had different styles – and with the fights fought over three, three minute, rounds you had to adapt quickly. There’s little time to work out your opponent.”

After edging his way through the quarter final stage, Bowen loosened his hands to defeat Kyle Chen in the semi-final.

He then entered the ring in front of a large crowd for the gold medal fight.

An underdog going into the first round, Bowen quickly got to work against his opponent.

Bowen, who trains at the Standard Triumph Club in Tile Hill, said: “The final was different – a bigger crowd. There was more pressure but I coped with it well.

“I thought I’d done enough to nick it and thankfully my thoughts were right.”

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