Privilege to box for Wales at Glasgow 2014, says history maker Ashley Brace

South Wales Argus: PRIVILEGE: Ashley Brace, second from right, with her Welsh vest and Elite Championships trophy alongside Torfaen Warriors coach Simon Weaver, fellow Torfaen fighter Becky Price and former national coach Tony Williams PRIVILEGE: Ashley Brace, second from right, with her Welsh vest and Elite Championships trophy alongside Torfaen Warriors coach Simon Weaver, fellow Torfaen fighter Becky Price and former national coach Tony Williams

TORFAEN Warriors fighter Ashley Brace says it is a privilege to be picked as one of a trio of Welsh women boxers who will create history at Glasgow 2014.

Brace, Charlene Jones and Lauren Price will become the first female boxers to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

And the 23-year-old from Ebbw Vale is delighted to get the chance to pull on a Welsh vest in Scotland this summer.

“It is a privilege but it is pressure on all of our shoulders,” said Brace. “The men’s success has inspired the women and we are a close team."

Brace will be fighting in the 51kg category and looking to overcome English Olympic heroine Nicola Adams who was one of the stars of London 2012 after winning Britain’s first women’s gold medal in the sport.

Brace recognises Adams’ contribution to her discipline but hopes the new found fame has made the Leeds star complacent.

“Nicola Adams did what we needed at London 2012 and I don’t think we would be in the situation we are now if she didn’t make such a success of things,” admitted Brace.

“The Irish girl Katie Taylor is my main role model because she stayed on top for so many years whereas Nicola Adams has got famous for London and not done much since.

“She was in my last training camp and I was not as impressed as I was when watching her during the Olympics.

“I would like to say I have beaten her in Glasgow, preferably in the final, and not have people say I had a lucky draw.

“Getting a gold medal is the aim. If you are going to get in a ring to get punched, you might as well be going in there to win.”

Brace got into boxing through her love for kickboxing and only gave it a go to improve her hand speed.

But her transition to boxing was a successful one and at just 17 she returned from Bulgaria with a bronze medal from the European Boxing Championships.

Brace took a break from the sport but dropped down a weight and returned this year to win the Welsh title.

“I came back about seven months ago and this selection is still a shock and not sunk in,” added Brace.

“It’s a great honour to fight for Wales in the Commonwealth Games, which I consider to be better than fighting for Great Britain.”

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