By Matt Bozeat

COLCHESTER light-middleweight Lewis Richardson is heading to Paris for this summer’s Olympic Games after victory in Bangkok today.

There was an Olympic place at stake when the Colchester light-middleweight faced Angel Gabriel Llanos Perez (Puerto Rico) in the quarter-finals of the Boxing Road to Paris Qualifying Olympic qualifying event. Richardson reached the last eight with three unanimous points wins and the 26-year-old southpaw won unanimously again.

Richardson said afterwards: “It feels unbelievable. I’ve got the golden ticket after putting years and years of hard work into it and I’m just really proud of myself for making it happen.

“I have had a lot of setbacks and I’m so thankful for everyone who has contributed along the way. I have had so many people support me from back home in Colchester, in Sheffield at GB Boxing.  They have all helped me fulfil a dream and I am over the moon.

“I have had so many peaks and troughs. I have had success along the way and there has been more ups than downs, but the downs hit you hard. I missed out at the first qualifier, but I’ve bounced back with four wins here and I’ve been boxing so well.

“I dropped the first round and then to come back and win unanimous it just shows my grit and determination and honestly, this piece of paper (ticket to Paris) means so much to me.

“My brother is my number one fan and out here supporting. He was at my first fight back in 2010 and today is my 123rd and he’s still here. I had my first bout in Billericay and now we’re in Bangkok – it’s unbelievable!”

Tokyo bronze medallist Aidan Walsh (Ireland) will have to go through a box-off to join Richardson in Paris after defeat in his quarter-final. Walsh lost a 4-1 split to Zeyad Eashash (Jordan) after having points docked in both the second and third rounds. Walsh can still reach Paris via the box-offs.

There are five qualifying places at 71kgs up for grabs in Thailand. The four semi-finalists qualify and the four losing quarter-finalists go into a box-off to determine the other qualifier.

Walsh faces a box-off after his quarter-final defeat. He won the opening round on all five scorecards, using the ring and pecking away with long singles.

The referee asked for more action from both during the opening three minutes and he gave Walsh a public warning for holding in the second. That sent Easash back to his corner at the bell, punching the air. The bout was still in the balance going into the last three minutes.

Walsh led 19-18 on three of the cards, while Easash was up by the same score on the other two. The bout swung Easash’s way midway through the last after Walsh was docked another point for holding.

That led to a chance of tactics from the Irishman, who held his feet and let his hands go. Easash was forced to give ground, but slammed back with hard body shots. Walsh gave himself more room in the closing seconds and picked off the Jordanian, but the points deductions proved costly.

Great Britain lightweight Amy Broadhurst missed out on qualifying. The 2022 World, European and Commonwealth Games gold medallist was beaten on a 4-1 split by Oh Yeonji (Korea).