Boxers give fletch Delhi ache

JARROD Fletcher pulls no punches.

Hervey Bay’s Olympian and Commonwealth Games boxing champion is shocked how poorly the Australian boxing team performed in Delhi.

Not one of the 10 fighters progressed past the quarter-final stages.

It’s the first time an Australian team has not won a medal since the 1974 Games in Christchurch.

The 26-year-old Fletcher, who represented his country twice in the Commonwealth Games during his glittering amateur career, said he couldn’t believe what had happened in India.

“Mate, it’s a disaster to say the least,” Fletcher, who beat Canadian Adonis Stevenson 34-18 on points to win gold in the 2006 Melbourne Games, said.

“I am shocked to be honest – I really thought that we’d win some medals as we had a pretty handy team over there.

“It was an awful display and I am really lost for words.

“We won five medals in Melbourne and now we’ve won nothing – it’s a hard pill to swallow.”

Fletcher, who now fights as a professional and is the current Pan Asian Boxing Association middleweight champion, said the agony of what happened in Delhi could have a serious knock on effect for the future of the sport in Australia.

“The London Olympics are less than two years away,” Fletcher, who was the captain of the boxing team at the Beijing Olympics, said.

“What happened in Delhi is hardly the type of performance that instils a lot of faith in us doing well over there.

“The high-performance boxing program at the Australian Institute of Sport is also closing down at the end of this month, so that won’t help our cause either.

“It’s worrying times for sure.”

As for his own career, Fletcher will stand toe-to-toe with New Zealander Brad Pole at the Brisbane Convention Centre on October 30.

It will be Fletcher’s first bout following shoulder surgery earlier this year.

Fraser Coast fight fans will be able to see how Fletcher is shaping up when he returns home for a public sparring session at the Hervey Bay Hotel in Pialba at 7pm on October 22.

Admission is $5 and two tickets for Fletcher’s comeback fight will be the lucky door prize.

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