By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
GLASGOW, Scotland — It wasn’t a good day for the Bahamas boxing team at the SECC Hall at the 20th Commonwealth Games.
First, Godfrey Strachan got eliminated in the men’s middleweight division, becoming the second competitor to have his participation come to an end. Then, unexpectedly, Carl Hield went down in the men’s welterweight division, leaving only Keishno Major for a shot at a medal when he fights today against Joseph Goodall of Australia.
Coming off an impressive second round TKO win over Mbachi Kaonga on Friday, Hield was poised to go after another medal, hopefully improving on the bronze medal that he got at the last games in New Delhi, India, in 2010.
But the 27-year-old was beaten by Castro Clayton of Canada in an unanimous decision 10-9 on three judges’ cards.
“I gave it my best, but I believe and a lot of people also believe that I should have won the fight,” Hield said.
“My performance was excellent. I really don’t know what the judges were thinking.”
A disappointed Hield said it just wasn’t his day and he will get over it by going back into the gym in Cuba and working even harder in preparation for the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mexico in November.
Against Mbachi in his opener, Hield came through with a flurry of punches that forced the referee to step in and call it off. On all three judges’ cards, Hield was leading 10-9.
Strachan, on the other hand, went into his preliminary bout at a huge disadvantage to get into the quarter-final. He took on a much taller Aaron Prince from Trinidad & Tobago, who fought flat-footed for the first two rounds to eventually pull off an unanimous decision.
While one of the referees scored it 30-28, the other two gave Prince a 30-27 margin for the win.
“It was a good fight. I was in an out, making the guy miss,” Strachan said. “The last round, I heard (my corner) to take the fight away and do what I do best and that is fight. I did that. I went with the game plan and executed. But they gave it to the better man.”
The last round effort came a little too late for Strachan, even though he forced Prince to move around a lot quicker to avoid his onslaught as he went on to pin him on the ropes a couple of times.
“He had more power over me, but I had some personal issues that I couldn’t deal with. At the CAC Games (in November in Mexico), I will have my strength and I will definitely be back.”
In his match on Sunday, Williams admitted that he gave it a gallant effort, but he didn’t expect to be stopped when the referee stepped in and called it one minute and 29 seconds in the third round for a TKO victory for Leroy Hindley of New Zealand.
“The fight was good. The guy was very strong. He’s a good fighter, but although the fight was tough, I didn’t feel that I deserved all of the eight counts that they gave to me,” said Williams, who was hit with four by the referee.
“I just pushed because I have a lot of heart. I dug down deep and did what I had to do. He came out on top, but I will go back in training and train even harder for the next time.”
Head coach Andre Seymour said at this level of competition, the fighters have to go hard for three rounds or they will end up losing.
“He fought extremely well for the first round,” Seymour said of Williams.
“In the second round, his opponent put the pressure on him and he just didn’t adjust in the ring. He fell into the same tactic as the New Zealand fighter. He attacked him and he fought him.”
Coach Seymour, however, admitted that Williams gave it his best shot. He noted that he just has to go back in the gym and work on the mistakes that he made in the fight.