CHARLENE Jones made history in Glasgow as the first woman to represent Team Wales in the boxing ring at a Commonwealth Games, writes Andrew Penman.
Ebbw Vale’s Ashley Brace should have been competing on Monday night but she was cruelly denied her place in the record books due to issues over her previous kick boxing exploits.
So it was Jones, the 23-year-old from Pembroke Dock, who stepped into the ring first against Sri Lankan Keshani Hansika.
And she cruised to a comfortable victory, winning all four two-minute rounds to take a unanimous decision from the judges at ringside.
"It wasn't easy,” insisted Jones, despite the 4-0 scoreline.
"I was a bit tired and just glad to get the first fight done.
"I can box better than I have done before.
"I have been here for about a week now and been eager to get in there and fight so much.
"It feels good to be a history make and it's a great honour,” she added.
"I have had amazing support from people back home and would like to thank everyone because it's unreal.
"My Mum, Dad and brother and a few friends have all been up here supporting me.
"My father started me off boxing and he was an amateur and it felt natural.”
Jones is now into the quarter-finals of the women’s 60kg division in Glasgow and just one win from a guaranteed medal.
"I think I can for gold,” she said. "I will perform a lot better.”
Like teammate Joe Cordina, Nathan Thorley guaranteed himself at least a bronze medal with victory in his quarter-final.
Cardiff 21-year-old Thorley looked hugely impressive as he stormed to a TKO stoppage win over Yakita Aska of Antigua in the 81kg division.
“It wasn't my best performance but it goes down on my record as a stoppage – my second of the tournament – so I'm happy with that."
Next up for Thorley is Kennedy St Pierre of Mauritius in the semi-final.
“He's a bit of a danger-man but I'll get back and watch a few tapes of him and come up with a game plan,” said Thorley.
“Every fight now is tough and I need to bring my A game because there are only top-class fighters left in the tournament.”
On securing at least a bronze medal he added: “It's good but I'm not here for a bronze, I'm looking much higher. I only want one colour of medal and that's gold.
“Hopefully I'll be able to get past my semi-final and get myself a silver, then I'm looking to get that gold.”
The dream of gold is over for Zack Davies, however.
The 22-year-old from Carmarthen was comprehensively beaten by home favourite Josh Taylor over three rounds in the men’s 64kg division.
The Scot nicked the first round but then stepped it up a gear, rocking Davies with a big right in the second and sending him crashing to the canvas in the third.
Taylor won a unanimous points victory, 30-27 on the judges’ score cards.