Ian Chadband / AAP News
The three-time Commonwealth Games representative has started her Birmingham 2022 Games campaign with a bang.
Kaye Scott, the dancing first lady of Australian boxing, has taken another fleet-footed step towards the Commonwealth crown that would crown her distinguished career at 38.
Admitting the Birmingham Games could be her final hurrah in the amateur sport she’s promoted for years so assiduously for women in Australia, Scott ran rings round 26-year-old Sierra Leone’s Zainab Keita to reach the light-middleweight semi-finals on Wednesday.
“I’m an old girl – but I’m still beating all the young ones and getting the top spot so it’s another kind of stereotype I’m trying to break,” Scott told AAP after conclusively winning every one of the three rounds on each of the five judges’ cards in the quarter-final.
“People are saying you’re at the end of the career, you’re washed up – but though this might be my last amateur tournament, I’ll keep going and if I keep performing, I might be keen to move to the pros.”
She’s been such a key part of the Australian boxing scene for so long that Scott admits we shouldn’t be surprised if she pops up at the Olympics in Paris at the age of 40.
But either way, she sees the Commonwealth gold as the potential “crowning moment” of her career as she’s only the second Australian, after Tony Madigan, to go to three Games.
At Gold Coast four years ago, she took welterweight bronze.
Having two years when she felt she’d been largely inactive because COVID decimated international competition, she looks fresh and sharp – too tall, too sharp and too accomplished for her game opponent.
An impressive dancer in her high school years and with a degree in human movement from the University of Technology, Sydney, Scott’s ringcraft is her forte, and she’ll need it when she faces Mozambique’s world championship silver medallist Alcinda Panguane in Saturday’s semi-final.
“It’s a real deep driver inside me to win this title – I want it a lot and I’m going to show that on Saturday. I’ve fought for Australia n women’s boxing from the beginning – you don’t alway s get the fairytale you want, but it would be amazing for me.”
Another bronze is guaranteed for Scott, as well as two more of her teammates after Caitlin Parker earned a straightforward unanimous decision over Kenyan Elizabeth Andiego to make the middleweight semis and Callum Peters announced himself in the equivalent men’s event.
At 19, Adelaide’s Peters looks a substantial talent – and it seems like he knows it.
“That was my first senior international fight,” he noted proudly to AAP, after stopping Guyana’s willing but outskilled Desmond Amsterdam in the second round of their quarter-final bout.
Asked about being the youngest member of the team, the confident teenager grinned: “Young and handsome, you mean!
“This is an amazing opportunity and I want to make it count. I’m looking for gold.”
Parker says she’s itching for the chance of revenge after booking a last-four date with Canada’s world champion Tammara Thibeault, who beat the Perth fighter a t the recent world championships.
And she expects her great supporter and long-time sporting mentor, cricketing great Adam Gilchrist, will be texting her with words of encouragement.