Four years of bad luck melted away for Rosie Eccles at the NEC in Birmingham as the 26-year-old served up an emphatic second-round stoppage of Australia’s Kaye Scott to claim Commonwealth Games gold in the women’s light-middleweight division.
Eccles had endured a split decision defeat to England’s Sandy Ryan in the Gold Coast final four years ago and subsequently missed out on a place at the Tokyo Olympics when she was struck down by a mystery virus and was denied a second chance by the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m always a very optimistic person but even I started thinking I was suffering a bit of a boxing curse,” said Eccles. “I was starting to think it just wasn’t going to happen.
“Things kept coming up out of the blue – I got to the first qualifier and got attacked by a virus, then I was denied the chance to go to Tokyo. To come through all of this and win gold is just amazing.”
I’m always quite humble but I think my time has come. You haven’t seen the best of me yet
Eccles forced Scott, a former world medallist, to take a standing count in the opening round and piled on the pressure in the second, dealing out two more counts that convinced the referee to step in and stop the contest.
“I think I can take my silver medal out of its box now,” added Eccles. “I’ve kept it there for four years, even when I visit school, but now I can say I will get it out because it’s a part of my story, and I can look on it with pride.”
Victory was all the more impressive for Eccles, who is small for a light-middleweight, and will benefit more from the equivalent category at the Paris Olympics, where the upper weight limit is four kilograms lighter.
“Paris is definitely the target now and I will be more powerful at the lighter weight,” added Eccles. “I’m always quite humble but I think my time has come. You haven’t seen the best of me yet.”
India silenced the home crowd with double victory in the opening two bouts of the morning medal session.
Nitu Nitu won the women's minimumweight title with a unanimous points victory over Demie-Jade Resztan.
Nitu said: "I am so happy, I can hardly breathe.
"My parents have been my inspiration and my gold medal is for them. I celebrated my win in the ring but now I will have some good times with my parents and family.
"This will make my village so happy and proud. I have won the gold medal against a really good opponent. She was strong and I have to compliment her: she was a very worthy opponent. She told me afterwards that I deserved to win the gold medal, and that means a lot to me.
"I hope that I can inspire other women to follow my path. I know this will mean so much to India and to boxing in my country."
Amit followed that up with a 5-0 points win of his own over Kiaran MacDonald in the men's flyweight.
Amit was happy to upgrade to gold after the disappointment of silver on the Gold Coast four years ago.
He said: "This has avenged my loss in Australia in the final. I knew it would be very testing because I was fighting an Englishman in England but the judges were very fair and very accurate.
“I was devastated when I lost four years ago so this makes me very happy. I got my tactics just right in the final."
Scotland rounded out the morning session with a double victory of their own.
Sam Hickey edged a spit decision in an exciting fight with Australia's Callum Peters in the men's middleweight final, while Sean Lazzerini also won via split decision over Taylor Bevan of Wales in the men's light heavyweight.