I won silver medal with broken hands, reveals Fred Evans
FRED Evans today reveals his amazing Olympic secret – he won a silver medal despite his hands being so badly damaged doctors warned him not to fight.
The 21-year-old became the most successful Welsh boxer in Olympic history by winning four bouts to earn a silver medal on the final day of London 2012.
It capped a 17-year obsession with the sport for the St Josephs puncher who was first taken to a boxing gym aged four, but his Olympic dream was almost crushed by chronic hand problems.
Evans is the number two ranked welterweight in the world yet he was unseeded for the Games and had to box five times, though doctors warned him not to participate at all after months of warm-up bouts left him with severe hand trouble.
“I had a couple of injuries, a few months ago they started, I’ve got tendon problems and the joints need repairing and I can’t tape them up like I do for training here (at St Josephs boxing gym), both my hands were a mess,” he told the Argus.
“I had acupuncture and it helped a bit but I had to have cortisone injections before every single fight and the hands were a real problem, to be honest the doctors said don’t go to the Olympics but I never saw that as an option.
“Four fights takes a lot out of you, my body was knackered, strained as anything, and I’d endured hard, hard fights, and by the time the final came I had nothing left to give. In my mind I wanted to put on a brilliant show but my body just wasn’t capable.
“I had it the hard way, I thought I’d get seeded and get a bye in the first round and only fight four times which makes a big difference when you get to the final.
“I had to fight the world champion on the way to the final too, I had it tough.”
Evans had to endure disappointment with best pal Andrew Selby failing to get into medal contention, but conversations with some of the biggest names in British sport – not to mention sensational fan support – kept his spirits high.
“I thought Selby would win it and helping him overcome his disappointment made me more determined to win a medal,” he said. “The atmosphere was unbelievable when I walked into the Excel Arena, people were going mental, screaming and shouting their heads off, it was just amazing, such a boost.
“Being part of the whole Team GB thing was fantastic, meeting the other athletes was a real honour.
“I spent a lot of time talking to Mo Farah, he’s a top lad, and Ryan Giggs from the football. I saw Giggsy in the physio room and was talking to him.
“And Jess Ennis I know well from Sheffield because we both train there, so I talked to her a lot.
“Mo Farah was really kind, a very cool guy, he was taking a real interest in my fights.
“Lennox Lewis was also commentating on my fights and I talked to him a few times. He was such a big name when I was growing up and to have him talking to you and being interested, it’s very special.”
Evans is unsure of what the future holds, save for an operation on his hands and a holiday with his family.
“I got to live my dreams, it was an unbelievable experience and capped off years of hard work to get there,” he said.
“It’s tough qualifying and I was over the moon to get there but then I was determined to get a medal, I was obsessed by that, but I did it.
“I am going to wait now, have a break, get my hands sorted out and spend time with my family.
“I’ll have a think about things and I will sit down with my coaches.
“I’ve lived my dream at the Olympics and now I’ll think about what is next.
“I really don’t know if I will stay amateur or turn professional.”