Ben on road to gold

IF Australian assistant coach Mick Daly was in the business of handing out advice to rival boxers, he'd be telling Jamaican Omar Gavin to remain well away from Gladstone light-heavyweight Ben McEachran.

Daly knows all about McEachran's abilities, guiding the 25-year-old to his status as one of Australia's best gold medal prospects at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

The 81kg division fighter was a bronze medallist four years ago in Manchester and earlier this week stated he had no desire for anything but a gold medal from this tournament.

Daly has no knowledge of the Jamaican's abilities but does know he faces some problems when he confronts McEachran in the Exhibition Centre ring on Sunday.

"If someone gets close to him, they're probably going to go to sleep," Daly said.

"Ben can really bang. If the Jamaican comes on to us that's tailor-made to what we want to do.

"If he's going to be a runner, Ben can handle that as well. "I'm pretty confident he's going to go really well here. Watching him spar, I think he's hitting form."

If McEachran can get past Gavin, as expected, his next opponent will be either Canadian Glen Hunter or New Zealand's Soulan Pownceby in the quarter-finals.

Daly, who has been handed the job of media spokesman by coach Bodo Andreass, expects the 10-man Australian team to get a huge lift from fighting in front of their home crowd.

The squad marched in the opening ceremony and returned to the village "buzzing".

"It's only a young team and they're full of enthusiasm," he said.

"When they get in front of the crowd, it's going to lift them again.

"Hopefully we're going to have big crowds each day they fight."

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