Boxing previews: Fierce competition to rock Oxenford Studios
The Boxing competition is shaping up to be fierce.
With 13 medallists returning to defend their places on the podium, Oxenford Studios is a fitting venue for the blockbusters that will unfold in the ring.
In the women's competition, three weight divisions - 45-48kg, 57kg and 69kg - have been added to the program from Glasgow 2014, where fighters competed at 51kg, 60kg and 75kg. Five medallists from Glasgow are participating at GC2018.
In the men's competition, the big boppers in the male 90kg and +91kg, who are prepared for a showdown. Medals will be contested in 10 male divisions, with eight medallists from Glasgow 2014 returning.
Women to watch
India's Pinki Rani took bronze in the 51kg division four years ago, while Northern Island's Michaela Walsh, who claimed silver in the same division, is stepping up to 57kg.
India’s Sarita Devi is looking to go one better after taking silver at 60kg in Glasgow, while bronze medallist in the same division, Alanna Nihell (NIR), will also be eyeing glory. Wales' Lauren Price (WAL) will be back in action after claiming bronze in the 75kg division in Scotland.
Medal honours were widely shared at the Glasgow Games, with England topping the medal table with two gold, while Northern Ireland, India and Canada also secured two medals.
England is again expected to be strong. Its powerful four-person team is led by two-time world championship medal winner Lisa Whiteside (51kg) and 2016 European champion Natasha Gale (75kg).
The biggest threat to England could be India, who also have a four-person team.
In addition to Rani (51kg) and Devi (60kg), five-time world champion Chungneijand Hmangte (45-48kg) is chasing her first Commonwealth Games medal.
Host nation Australia has a five-strong team led by 2016 world championship silver medallist Kaye Scott (69kg) and Skye Nicolson (57kg), who took bronze at the same event in the 64kg division.
Cameroon is shaping up as the surprise package after a dominant performance at the 2017 African titles in Brazzaville, Congo.
Cameroon's Clotilde Essiane is the current African champion in the 75kg division. It is the heaviest female division and is expected to be one of the most competitive with Gale, Priceand Canada’s Tammara Thisbeault all capable of reaching the final.
Essiane’s teammate Aubierge Azangue (69kg) is also the current African champion and adds to a highly competitive division including Scott, England's Sandy Ryan and Rosie Eccles from Wales.
Men to watch
New Zealand's David Nyika is moving up to 91kg after winning gold at 81kg in Glasgow, while Namibia's Jonas Jonas (64kg) aims to go one better after taking silver four years ago.
Bronze medallists Abdul Omar (Ghana, 52kg), Reece McFadden (Scotland, 52kg), Benson Njangiru (Kenya, 56kg), Michael Alexander (Trinidad and Tobago, 60kg), Steven Donnelly (Northern Ireland, 69kg) and Benny Muziyo (Zambia, 75kg) are also back.
Omar is moving up to 60kg for GC2018, while Donnelly is making the step up to 75kg.
But it is the heavyweights who are likely to make the biggest impact.
Cameroon's Arsene Fokou Fosso took bronze in the +91kg division at the 2017 world championships in Hamburg and is the current African champion.
He faces an impressive line-up of heavy hitters including England's Frazer Clarke, Trinidad and Tobago's Nigel Paul, New Zealand's Patrick Mailata, India's Satish Kumar and Australia's Toese Vou Siutu, who toppled Glasgow silver medallist Joe Goodall at the Australian trials.
The 91kg division is also promising a show, with Niyaka stepping up a division to take on 2017 European silver medallist Cheavon Clarke (England) and Australian hope, Jason Whateley, while Christian Ndzie Tsoye will provide another threat from Cameroon.
England finished top of the pile in Glasgow with three gold meals and have brought an eight-strong team to the Gold Coast.
The charge will be led by 2017 world champion bronze medallist Peter McGrail (56kg). Twin brothers Luke McCormack (64kg) and Pat McCormack (69kg) both reached the last 16 in Hamburg, with Pat advancing to the quarterfinals. In the 64kg division, Australia's Liam Wilson will be poised to put up a fight for a medal.
The men's 60kg, 64kg and 69kg rounds begin on Thursday 5 April. Get tickets.
The men's 46-49kg, 75kg, 91kg and +91kg rounds, plus the women's 45-48kg, 69kg, 75kg rounds, begin on Friday 6 April. Get tickets.
The men's 56kg and women's 57kg rounds start on Saturday 7 April. Get tickets.