No chance of rival revenge – but Alanna Nihell is “better than ever” ahead of Commonwealths


Alanna Nihell is feeling “better than ever” as she chases a second Commonwealth Games medal – but the Belfast lightweight won’t have the opportunity she has been craving

After winning bronze in Glasgow four years ago, Nihell now will attempt to lead by example at the Gold Coast in Australia this coming April.

One of the most experienced fighters on the thirteen-person panel, the Sandy Row fighter is the ladies captain, while Sean McComb performs the same role for the men.

A corporal in the British Army, Nihell is based in Aldershot, but returned home last year for the revived Ulster Elite Senior Championships.

The Eastside fighter won the 60kg via walkover but, despite not having a fight, she was always confident she would get another crack at Commonwealth glory.

“I was over the moon to be selected as part of the NI team,” Nihell told Irish-Boxing.com

“There was no doubt even though I didn’t get a fight at the Ulster. I met all the criteria that they were looking for In a Boxer.”

“And to be named as ladies Team Captain makes it even more special.”

With the Games taking place Down Under, Nihell had viewed the tournament as the perfect place to exact revenge over Shelley Watts. Four years ago the Aussie defeated Nihell in the semi-finals of the Glasgow Games en-route to gold, but won’t be defending her crown this April.

Analysing the field, Nihell notes how “I was hoping to meet the current champ at my weight who’s Australian but I’ve just found out she didn’t qualify in the end.”

“I was looking to take her out to be fair, India is a strong nation in boxing and Canada aren’t too bad so it’s all good competition for me.”

32 years old now, Nihell has plenty of experience and the 2006 EU bronze medalist believes she is at the top of her game.

Nihell outlined how “I’m feeling really confident in myself for these Games I’ve gained more experience since the last Games and I’m feeling better than ever.”

“The training with John Conlan is on point, the man knows his stuff and the team as a whole is a very strong team.”

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie