The West

WA boxer set for Commonwealth Games
Jordan Samardali after winning the 81kg national title. Pic: Neil Devey

UPDATE: WA's Jordan Samardali produced the stand-out performance to all but clinch a place in Australia's Commonwealth Games boxing team.

The Devellerez BC 20-year-old thrilled the vocal crowd at Fremantle's Esplanade Hotel - and his large family watching on - to outscore Dylan Hardy of Tasmania and claim the national 81kg title.

There were 13 finals on the last night of the selection trials but countries are allotted 11 places in Glasgow, which means two national champions have to be discarded through no fault of their own.

However, Samardali's place looks secure after he was named the winner of the Arthur Tunstall Trophy as the best boxer of the championships.

"It was a tough fight but I stepped it up ... it's an awesome feeling knowing that I could be on the way to the Commonwealth Games."

Samardali made a confident start, hands low when out of reach but working behind his jab. He got home a good left hook in the first, then in the second the frustrated Tasmanian was deducted a point for holding.

The fast-handed West Aussie had the crowd on their feet in the third when he landed six or seven shots in quick succession. And even a standing count for Samardali after being caught by a right on the break didn't put the outcome in doubt.

"He's only 20 and there's plenty of room for improvement, but he will go far," said veteran trainer Pat Devellerez, the former amateur trainer of Danny Green.

Three-weight pro champion Green was in the crowd to give his support for Samardali.

But while the light-heavy was celebrating there was disappointment for his fellow West Aussie, Petersons 49kg boxer Joe Scaffidi, who was stopped in the third round by Tasmania's Joshua English.

Queensland's Joseph Goodall caused a stunning upset by beating the highly-rated Willis Meehan for the super heavyweight gold medal.

Meehan, who plays rugby league for the Sydney Roosters, started the final a short-priced favourite, but struggled to deal with the speed of his much smaller opponent.

Goodall had defeated London Olympian Johan Linde to make the final and said he wasn't overwhelmed by the hype surrounding his opponent.

"Willis is such a great fighter, I knew I just had to do my own thing," Goodall said.

"Self belief is so important, and I really believed in myself this week."

New South Welshman Jai Opetaia won his third national 91kg title and, now aged 18, is hoping to build on his London experience in Glasgow later this year.

"I was just a kid then, I'm a much better boxer now," Opetaia said.

Another New South Welshman, 20-year-of Daniel Lewis, backed up his strong international form from 2013 with an impressive win over Tasmania's Luke Woods in the 69kg category.

But Tasmania had cause to celebrate when Jackson Woods won the 56kg title and Nick Cooney triumphed in the 60kg class.

The dream of Victorian twins Andrew and Jason Moloney to compete at a second consecutive Commonwealth Games came to an end, with Jason having his colours lowered by Jackson Woods.

Olympic hurdles gold medallist Sally Pearson inspired NSW boxer Shelley Watts in her win over two-time national champion Jessica Retallack in the 60 kilogram gold medal bout.

Retallack had dominated Watts throughout their boxing careers, so Watts turned to the Olympic hurdler for inspiration.

"I read Sally Pearson's book recently, and it really made a difference," Watts said.

"If I get on that plane to Glasgow, one of the first things I'm going to do is go up and thank Sally."

NSW teammate Kaye Scott was also celebrating a potential ticket to Glasgow after a dominant win over fellow NSW boxer Jessica Messina in the 75kg division.

And in the 51kg division 21-year-old Victorian Kristy Harris out pointed 19-year-old Queenslander Chernaka Johnson.

- On Friday night in all-WA affair, Bec O'Shaughnessy (MACH 1) defeated Kelly Coull (Mandurah BC) to win the elite women's 48kg national title, which is not one of the three Commonwealth Games divisions for women.

Story updated to correct spelling of Samardali

The West Australian

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