Edinburgh’s Lewis Benson’s Commonwealth gold dream is over after being on the wrong side of a split decision against New Zealand’s Bowyn Morgan in their round of 32 clash at Glasgow’s SECC yesterday
The Lochend star, 22, had fought tooth and nail just to make Team Scotland’s 69kg berth and was left shattered by the judges’ decision to award victory to the red corner and his Kiwi opponent, who is his country’s national champion.
A teary-eyed Benson said in the aftermath: “I’m devastated. I put everything into that. After the first round I was happy with my performance, boxing on the back foot and boxing nice. Second round, I got caught and that was the turning point in the bout. But I definitely feel I won the last round – I won the first and the last but the second was enough to square it on the judges’ cards.
“I left it all in there so I can’t say anymore. It wasn’t to be on the day and I was hoping to come back with a medal but that’s obviously not happening.”
Benson looked composed as he stepped into the ring for the biggest bout of his career and started well, landing a right upper-cut which perhaps saw the first round land in his favour.
It was the second three minute-round where Morgan grasped the initiative, delivering a thunderous left hook which caught Benson by surprise as the Scot tried to recompose himself. The Scottish champion fought back but it was Morgan who was awarded the round by all three judges meaning a final round decider.
Both boxers then landed shots to their opponents’ head and body, Benson looking at his strongest in the final minute as he tried to persuade the judges to award the contest his way.
However, two of the judges were convinced the New Zealander had done enough to take the third round and with that, victory.
Benson added: “The opening ceremony was everything to me and made me up for this fight. I want to thank everyone who has backed me and helped me get to where I am now.
“I will be back as an amateur and I’ll be back down at 64kg next season and I’ll win the Scottish Championships again. I’ll have a wee holiday then get back into training and get ready for the next one.”