European Amateur Boxing Championships: Four Great Britain fighters into finals

Scotland’s Sam Hickey lost out to GB team-mate Lewis Richardson but won a first senior European medal for a Scottish boxer for 16 years.

Four Britons will fight for gold at the European Amateur Boxing Championships after winning a place in their finals in Yerevan, Armenia.

Britain are guaranteed one champion, as Harris Akbar and Garan Croft will meet in the light-middleweight final.

Flyweight Kiaran MacDonald and middleweight Lewis Richardson also reached their finals.

Four other British men leave Armenia with bronze medals after losing their semi-final bouts.

Welsh welterweight Ioan Croft, heavyweight Lewis Williams and super-heavyweight Delicious Orie did not progress, along with Scotland’s Sam Hickey, who lost to team-mate Richardson on a split decision.

However, Hickey’s bronze is a first senior European medal for a Scottish boxer for 16 years.

“I have so much respect for Sam,” said Richardson, who will meet Ireland’s Gabriel Dossen in the final on Monday.

“He’s a great boxer, a great opponent and I’m pleased for him that he’s also got a medal because he deserves it.”

It was a first senior medal at a major competition for Ioan Croft – twin brother of Garan – who lost to Georgia’s Lasha Gurili.

Orie was beaten by Germany’s Nelvie Tiafack while Williams could not progress against Aziz Mouhidine of Italy.

MacDonald beat another Italian fighter, Federico Serra, via split decision to reach his final against Spain’s Martin Molina.

And it took another split decision victory to see Akbar overcome reigning world champion, Ukraine’s Yurii Zakharieiev, and set up his fight against Garan Croft, who beat German Magomed Schachidov.

“It feels surreal,” Akbar said. “To go in there and beat the world champion who beat me comfortably last year. That for me is better than wining gold.”

“I’m ready for tomorrow now, it’s exciting,” said Croft. “Two GB boxers in the final just shows the level we’re training at.”

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