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Page last updated at 13:42 GMT, Thursday, 14 August 2008 14:42 UK

Mixed fortunes for British boxers

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Video - Billy Joe beaten by Cuban

Britain had a mixed day in the Olympic boxing competition as they lost two fighters in the second round.

Light-welterweight Bradley Saunders was never ahead in his 11-7 defeat by Frenchman Alexis Vastine.

Welterweight Billy Joe Saunders fought bravely but lost 13-6 to fancied Cuban opponent Carlos Banteaux Suarez.

But light-heavyweight Tony Jeffries made the last eight after coming through a messy encounter with Eleider Alvarez on a count back.

606: DEBATE
After a cautious opening, 23-year-old Jeffries took the lead in the second round but failed to put any daylight between himself and Colombian Alvarez.

The Colombian levelled at 5-5 with 15 seconds remaining in the final round but Jeffries got the judges vote to proceed to the last eight.

The Sunderland fighter, who faces Hungary's Imre Szello in the quarter-finals on Tuesday, received a bye into the second round and admitted the long build-up had been difficult.

"It was a horrible fight but the build-up was so long and I'm just glad I got rid of this pressure," he said.

"I've been spurred on by all the messages of support I've received here in Beijing and back home. I've only ever dreamed of winning an Olympic medal since I was six years old, and I'm so close now."

I was thinking too far ahead about what was coming up next

Bradley Saunders

Bradley Saunders, 20, had beaten Vastine earlier this year but could not get into the contest as his attacks were easily picked off by his opponent.

After levelling the score at 3-3, Saunders found himself 10-3 down after the third round.

The Stockton-on-Tees fighter tried everything to salvage the bout in the final round but had too much to do.

"I did the wrong things at the wrong time," he told BBC Sport. "I beat him this year but I did not study him as much as I should have and he obviously studied me.

"I was thinking too far ahead about what was coming up next."

Billy Joe Saunders trailed from the start against the experienced Banteaux, who will face Egypt's Hosam Abdin in the next round.

Saunders felt he boxed well, but bemoaned the scoring in Beijing.

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Video - Jefferies through to quarter-finals

"The points didn't go for me today," he said. "In the last round I knew I wouldn't get the decision unless I knocked him out. The scoring here is so bad for an Olympic Games. It's unbelievable.

"I felt my performance was exceptional, but I've had better days. I felt I should have had six or seven points for my body shots, but they're not scoring body shots. You might as well do fencing, not boxing, if they're going to do that."

Ireland's Kenny Egan booked a quarter-final bout with the Brazilian Washington Silva after comfortably beating Bahram Muzaffer of Turkey 10-2.


see also
DeGale gets off to flying start
09 Aug 08 |  Boxing
British boxers given tough draw
09 Aug 08 |  Boxing
Amateur boxing explained
01 Mar 06 |  Boxing
Boxing jargon guide
13 Dec 05 |  Get Involved


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