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Newz Forum: OLYMPICS: U.S boxer Ward guarantees boxing medal

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posted on Aug, 24 2004 @ 04:10 PM
Athens, Greece (Sports Network) - Andre Ward hasn't lost a bout in six years, and not even a two-time world champion could end that streak.

Ward guarantees the United States its first boxing medal of the Athens Games, and staved off a string of American losses here, by defeating Russian Evgeny Makarenko, 23-16, in their light heavyweight quarterfinal bout at Peristeri Boxing Hall on Tuesday night.

Makarenko, at 6-feet-6 the tallest boxer in competition, hadn't lost a major international event in five years (he didn't compete in the 2000 Olympics).

"He's really strong," the six-foot Ward said, "but I just kept asking God to help me win. Some people laugh at me and say I should move down to middleweight."

Ward now hasn't lost a fight since 1998; and he was a clear winner, countering the Russian's reach advantage with good inside fighting to take an early lead he wouldn't relinquish.

"I felt like David up against Goliath," Ward said.

The Oakland native won every round, posting a 7-3 score by the end of the first and following that with round scores of 6-5, 4-3 and 6-5 in the last. He guaranteed himself a bronze, and increased the chances the U.S. wouldn't leave Athens with a record-low medal count in boxing.

Middleweight Andre Dirrell is up next. He will fight Cuba's Yordani Despaigne Herrera on Wednesday, needing a win to clinch the Americans' second medal. The U.S. has never won less than two medals at any Olympic Games.

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