CROFT twins Ioan and Garan marched into the Commonwealth Games boxing semi-finals at Birmingham’s NEC Hall this afternoon.

In so doing the Cardigan ABC pair guaranteed themselves of bronze medals at least when the tournament resumes with the semi-finals on Saturday.

Ioan produced a brilliant performance to stop Malawi’s Luwis Zakeyu Mbewe in the second round of their welterweight quarter-final.

And about an hour later Garan completed a Crymych double when he came from behind to defeat veteran light-middleweight Merven Clair, of Mauritius.

Working behind a stiff left jab, Garan nevertheless experienced some initial difficulties against a southpaw competing in his third Games – dropping the first round on a 4-1 split decision.

Knowing he was behind, Garan boxed more on the front foot in the second session, sending Clair back with a number of fierce right hands.

As Clair faded in the third, Croft continue to score vital points with searing rights and a rapier-like left jab; the Welshman unleashing a roar of delight on learning he had done enough to secure a narrow points victory.

Garan’s prospects had earlier received an unexpected boost when England's pre-tournament favourite Harris Akbar – the man who beat the Welsh 20-year-old at the recent European championships – was defeated by fleet-footed Northern Irishman Aidan Walsh.

Ioan’s previous winning display – in which a series of fierce southpaw lefts forced Mbewe to take three standing counts – means he will become the first Welshman to win a medal in the 67kg division since Anthony Freal at Edmonton in 1978.


Ioan scored freely from the off, frequently making his teenage opponent miss before punishing him with those spearing left hands.

Croft forced the first standing eight count in the opening session, completing the round with a terrific body shot.

Mbewe simply had no answer to the Cardigan boxer's speed and precision and two more big left hands brought the bout to a premature conclusion in round two.

“I settled in during the first, managed to suss him out and it was nice to get him out of there in the second,” said Ioan.