Newport boxer Fred Evans dedicates silver medal to his late mother
8:01pm Sunday 12th August 2012 in London Olympics 2012 - Latest News
NEWPORT boxer Fred Evans dedicated his Olympic silver medal to his late mum, Tracy, after he was outpointed by Serik Sapiyev 17-9 in the London 2012 welterweight final today.
A fifth fight in the ExCeL proved too much for Evans, who had come through a gruelling semi-final against world champion Taras Shelestyuk, but the 21-year-old had already written his name into Welsh history books by becoming the country’s first ever boxer Olympic silver medallist.
His medal made the Games the most successful ever for Welsh competitors, who notched up a total of seven.
Standing on the podium, his thoughts turned to his mother, who died in a car crash in 2006 with his sister, Scarlett, and how his path to an Olympic silver medal began 17 years ago.
“My mum and baby sister passed away a few years ago,” he said. “I remember the first time I watched the Olympics was with my mum and she supported me big time.
“She was always behind me wherever I boxed. The first time any boxing came on TV she would call me and say, ‘do you want to come and watch?’ “She was my biggest supporter. She was in my thoughts on the podium and I would like to say this is for her.
“My dad started me at a local gym at Carmarthen Hornets when I was four years old and I really kept to it from being a baby.
“I had my first fight then and won my first Welsh championships when I was ten. It just carried on all the way through.
“I was winning cadet and youth tournaments and my trainer, Tony Borg, said, ‘if you stick at it and keep progressing the way you are then there’s no reason you can’t be at London 2012’.
“Now to win silver is unbelievable. Obviously I’m still young, I’m only 21 – I’m one of the youngest seniors here – so I’ve done well and I’m over the moon with getting to the final.”
Getting to the final, though, came at a cost as Evans looked leggy in the opening round – his normal bounce and energy were absent as Sapiyev made a busy start.
The St Joseph’s fighter struggled to establish his range early with Sapiyev a constant moving target, and was perhaps lucky to be just 4-2 down after the first.
Even a crowd that has always been so vocal in support of Evans lost its voice as Sapiyev took his lead to five points – a virtually insurmountable lead against such a class opponent.
And the third round saw Sapiyev take full advantage of Evans’ low-slung guard to land his jab almost at will, and by the end the bell came as a merciful release.
Like Amir Khan, his hero from Athens 2004, an Olympic silver medal will give Evans plenty of leverage with potential promoters but Evans will not be rushing into any decision.
“In our gym in Sheffield there are photos of the past Olympic medallists and there’s one of Ralph Evans so to come back to Wales with a silver is a huge honour,” he added.
“To come back to Wales with a medal for all the support they have given me makes a big difference.
“That was my fifth fight and my body was feeling a bit drained. He was definitely on his game and he was very sharp. He was a top fighter and the fact he won that award shows how talented the kid is.
“All the way I have been thinking no farther ahead than the Olympics so I just want to go away, have a break and see what I do next.
“I am going to have a break. I have been flat out training for this for years and I will go back to Sheffield and weigh things up.”
- Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of Team GB and proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb. com/london2012