FRED Evans admits he was so nearly the architect of his own downfall in his welterweight quarter-final against Custio Clayton and maintains he won’t repeat the same mistakes for his Olympic semi-final.
The Welsh welterweight guaranteed Wales’ first boxing medal in 40 years on Tuesday night but by his own admission he ‘stepped off the gas’ having been in complete control after the first.
Using his jab, range and speed, Evans comfortably kept the stocky Clayton at range to establish a 7-2 lead only for that to be whittled to two at the end of the second.
Clayton then pulled it back to 14-14 and the countback decision went in Evans’ favour although he had to endure another agonising wait as the Canadian team launched an appeal which was rejected in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Next up is Ukraine’s Taras Shelestyu for a place in the final and Evans knows the world champion would take full advantage of any further concentration lapses.
He said: “It was the biggest moment of my life when it went to countback, I was really nervous but I always knew I had the edge. I allowed him to come back in the second and in the last I felt I pulled back a few again so I started moving around again.
“I was really comfortable after the first being five up and I took my foot off the gas a little going into the second. I always felt comfortable but I did not realise how much he pulled it back, I felt I had a good last round.
“I stepped off too much in the second and when I went back to the corner he said ‘what are you doing, you are stepping off completely’ and in the last round I thought I pulled back a few again. I thought I was three or four up at the end. He's the world champion and I'll have to up my game again to change the colour of my medal.
“That was a little bit of a lesson for me, I'll have to fight like I did in the first round all the way through or it won’t be enough.”
While there was elation for Evans, there was despair for his fellow Welshman Andrew Selby who was comprehensively outboxed by the canny Cuban Robeisy Ramirez Carrazana going down 16-11.
Selby struggled to consistently penetrate Ramirez’s defences and had to absorb some fierce combinations to the body.
The 23-year-old admits he was well beaten in the end but says he is considering the possibility of remaining within the amateur ranks until the 2016 Rio Olympics.
He said: “He was the better man on the day. My trainer was telling to get my hands up after I finished my combination and he would just get me before I got my hands up. He is a very clever boxer.
“I could not have asked for a better year last year, I wanted to round it off by getting a medal but it just was not my time.
“When I get back and return to Sheffield I will see what they want me to do. I have not decided [about going professional], I am not going to decide.
“I see what Rob McCracken wants me to do, if he wants me stay on to Rio.”
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