Vintage star Kaye Scott and exciting new prospect Callum Peters produced exhilarating performances to blast their way to the Commonwealth Games final on a terrific morning for Australian boxing.
In a bruising contest at the NEC on Saturday, 38-year-old veteran Scott earned a 4-1 split decision over Mozambique’s world championship silver medalist Alcinda Panguane in her light middleweight semifinal.
Then Peters, a teenager half his age, demonstrated why he was such a promising prospect as he completely overwhelmed the dangerous and powerful South African captain Simnikiwe Bongco to secure a unanimous verdict in his semi-final of the middleweights from all five judges.
The referee had to intervene several times to warn the Scott-Panguane contest fighters, the African for the slaps and the Aussie for the use of the elbow, but in a close matter Scott’s precise work persuaded the judges wilder shots from Panguane.
“I’m fine for 38,” Scott smiled. “Beating all the young talent to get here. Now one more step. I thought I had earned it. It’s all about confidence, and I had that – and I thought I wanted it more than her.
“When she showed up, she was very open for me to catch her as I walked in. I had a bit more quality.”
Scott, who won bronze in 2018, felt she was like fine wine, smiling: “I get better with age.”
“I don’t see why my career has to be ended at the moment,” added Scott.
She will face Welsh Rosie Eccles, a silver medalist at the Gold Coast four years ago, in Sunday’s final.
“I’m still enjoying it, I’m still learning and until the body gives in or I stop enjoying it, that’ll be the time for me to hang up the gloves instead of someone saying ‘you got it. 38 now, you gotta be done now,'” Scott said.
“I keep up to date with the young talent in the team – I always do the same training as the 19-year-olds in our team.”
This teenager from Adelaide Peters then did his part, looking every square inch like a future champion as he completely discouraged Bongco.
Peters absorbed a few of his best shots and pushed forward anyway, using his substantial range advantage to relentlessly pour punches.
He won every round on every judge’s card, with an increasingly desperate Bongo also getting a point deducted for holding in the second round.
“It’s my first international tournament, so I’m still learning the ropes,” Peters said.
Peters will face Scotsman Sam Hickey, who stopped England’s Lewis Richardson in the other semi, in Sunday’s final.
“These are events, new people for me. I’m very excited. I watched Hickey’s fight, he likes boxing a long time – but I like getting in there and punching nonstop. Let’s see what happens tomorrow “, did he declare. .