Sunday, October 10, 2010

Boxing: Khan, Barnes win CWG medals

Haroon Khan guaranteed a Commonwealth Games medal at the Talkatora Stadium in Delhi on Saturday.

However, he insisted beating a British fighter gave him more satisfaction than knowing he will head home with at least bronze.

The 19-year-old, wearing the vest of Pakistan, squeezed past Welshman Andrew Selby on countback after a tight 3-3 draw, then said he felt vindicated after alleging he had been frozen out of the Great Britain squad.

Khan said: "This is what I wanted to do - get a medal and beat a lad from the Great Britain podium squad. I've done that and proved them wrong. It [beating a Briton] is more important than the medal."

Responding to comments made by Selby after the previous round in which the Welshman said Khan was not worthy of a podium squad place, Khan said: "Selby said he battered me in sparring - well look what happened then.

"My hand was lifted and I'm just so proud. My job was to come here and prove the selectors wrong and I've done that. I've got a medal at 52kg and the British lad hasn't got it. I wanted a medal to prove I'm good enough and I've done that."

Khan took the lead with a left hand through Selby's tight guard in the opening round, but a good left in return allowed the Welshman, whose more accurate shots lacked power, to draw level.

A crisp counter-punching right from Khan put him back in front in round two but Selby's dogged persistence paid off with a second equalising punch towards the end of the round, setting up a dramatic finale.

Both fighters exchanged single points again in the third with Khan's looser, more powerful performance ultimately catching the eye of the judges and sending him through to a semi-final against India's Suranjoy Mayengbam.

Northern Ireland light-flyweight Paddy Barnes was less happy with his bronze medal and was in no mood to celebrate despite a strong and sharp 4-2 victory over Australia's Andrew Moloney.

Barnes, the European champion and Olympic bronze medallist, dodged the interview mixed zone after claiming earlier quotes he had given in which he claimed boxing was "boring" had been taken out of context.

Middlesbrough heavyweight Simon Vallily got his Games campaign under way with an explosive first-round stoppage of Dominic Winrow of the Isle of Man.

Vallily rocked his opponent with his first punch of the fight and forced a standing count with just 20 seconds of the contest gone. A huge left hand clubbed Winrow to the canvas and he was helped groggily back to his corner.

Vallily said: "It was good to get out there. I wanted to get into the tournament and get the ball rolling because all of this is a new experience for me but it's just great to be at the Commonwealth Games.

"There's a bit of pressure on me but it doesn't really affect me. I just train hard and get in and do what I've got to do. The pressure just comes with winning. With my power and speed I hope I can have a good tournament.''

Northern Ireland's Steven Ward moved within one more win of a medal with a 7-4 win over Australian Giancarlo Squillace, while Scottish heavyweight Stephen Simmons eased past South Africa's Masana Manganyi 10-2.

Simmons decked Manganyi with a strong right hand in the last round but the Scot, who was dropped from the fully-funded Great Britain podium squad earlier this year, was far from happy with his performance.

Simmons said: "I give it five out of 10. I'm here to take gold here and prove a point but I will need to make my performance better to do it. I'm never going to win gold with a performance like that.''

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