Lewis Richardson one win away from the Olympics

COLCHESTER light-middleweight Lewis Richardson will be an Olympian if he wins his next fight.

Richardson faces Angel Gabriel Llanos Perez (Puerto Rico) in the Boxing Road to Paris Olympic qualifying event in Bangkok on Friday morning (10.30 am GMT) and the prize for the winner is a place at this summer’s Olympics.

Great Britain boxers Delicious Orie (super-heavyweight), Pat Brown (heavyweight), Charley Davison (bantamweight), Chantelle Reid (middleweight) and Rosie Eccles (welterweight) had already qualified.

Delicious Orie (blue) of Team England competes against Sagar Sagar (red) of Team India during the Men’s Boxing Over 92kg (Super Heavyweight) Gold Medal Bout (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images).

Richardson is now nine minutes away from joining them and Ireland’s Aidan Walsh is also on the brink of qualifying at 71kgs after a win over 2021 World Champion Yuri Zakharieiev, his third win in four days.

Walsh, who won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, faces Zeyad Eashash (Jordan) on Friday for a place at the Olympics. If beaten, Richardson and Walsh would get another shot at qualifying.

The four beaten quarter-finalists are set to meet, with the winner going to Paris. Richardson has proved to be something of a surprise package. He didn’t make his debut at 71kgs until last December, when he won gold at the Algarve Box Cup in Portugal.

Richardson had been campaigning at 75kgs, winning Commonwealth Games bronze in Birmingham in 2022 at middleweight before taking a break for 366 days to concentrate on his studies.

Richardson told Boxing News of his frustration after the 75kgs weight category was removed from the Paris Games and, given he stands around 6ft 3ins tall, he was possibly expected to move up to 80kgs to pursue an Olympic berth.

He instead went down to 71kgs and three wins in three days at the Algarve Box Cup put him in the mix for the Olympic qualifiers.

Richardson went on to reach the final of the World Boxing Cup: GB Open in Sheffield in January, in the absence of 2022 European Champion Harris Akbar, who was ruled out through injury.

Richardson made an early exit from the Olympic qualifier in Italy in March, but the Great Britain coaches stuck by him for the Bangkok event.

Richardson started with a unanimous points win over Brandon Chavez (Honduras) that took him through to the last 32.

There, he met Kasra Tahmasebi (Iran) and he won unanimously again. Tiago Muxanga (Mozambique) was also beaten unanimously to set up the decider against Perez.

Great Britain lightweight Amy Broadhurst is only two wins away from qualifying after back-to-back points wins. Next for her is a match with Yeonji Oh (Korea) on Friday (3.15pm GMT).

Amy Broadhurst (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

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