A brutal finish provided Taylor Bevan with a dream start on his Commonwealth Games debut as the Fair Oak-raised boxer shook off pre-fight nerves in style at Birmingham 2022.
Bringing the action in the ring to a close on the opening day at The NEC, the 21-year-old won his match-up with Onyx Lee of New Zealand by knockout with a crunching body blow.
It was the second time Bevan had his opponent on the floor in the two minutes 17 seconds the contest lasted, leaving the referee with no choice but to wave off the fight.
“That felt amazing, couldn’t have gone any better for my first bout,” said the Team Wales fighter.
“I felt really good in there. I wasn’t necessarily going out there to put on a show, I just wanted to get the job done really. As it was the first fight, I was a little bit nervous.
“I just wanted to take my time. I eased my way into it and things just flowed from there, it just clicked really and I managed to do everything I wanted to do.
“I was a little bit nervous but not too bad considering. It’s such a massive event but I just tried to stay relaxed and I think I managed to do that in the end.”
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Bevan started his boxing career under the guidance of father Lester at Poseidon Amateur Boxing Club, eventually moving up from fighting at middleweight to box at light heavyweight.
And after demonstrating his punching power in style in his opening bout, the Team Wales sensation was delighted to finally put all his training into practice in Birmingham.
“The last four years I’ve been building up to this. I’ve been on the Wales full-time programme for the last four years which has just been about building up to this really,” he said.
“The last eight or nine weeks, training has stepped up for this and it’s good to finally get into the tournament. Now it’s started I can relax now and enjoy myself a bit.
“I’m going to take it one fight at a time, try and win each fight and then my goal is to get the gold medal at the end of it but I’m not looking beyond the next fight right now.”
Such was the manner of Bevan’s performance, he appeared to have more than just the Welsh fans cheering him on as he delivered a statement victory - one that suggests a bright future.
“I’m really proud to be wearing the Welsh vest and representing my country. The crowd, it seemed like there were a lot of Welsh supporters in there,” he added.
“I don’t know whether some of the English supporters were cheering as well but I seemed to get a good response when I came in and that really helped throughout the fight.
“I want to go the whole way in boxing. I want to win a gold medal here, then go to the Olympics win a gold medal there and turn pro, win a world championship title hopefully.
“But that’s everyone’s plan. This is just the start and it definitely feels good to get a win like that on a stage such as the Commonwealth Games. I’m buzzing.”
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