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Sunday, 1 October, 2000, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
Brave Audley makes history
Audley Harrison ignored a serious hand injury to defeat Kazakhstan's Mukhtarkhan Dildabekov and take Britain's first Olympic boxing gold since 1968.
Harrison took charge of the contest in the opening round and increased his advantage in every subesquent round, winning by a 30-16 point decision.
But despite the convincing nature of his performance, it was revealed shortly before the bout that the 28-year-old Englishman was suffering from an injured knuckle in his left hand.
But he was able to dominate the battle using his right jab and through a debilitating body attack which took its effect on the Kazakhstan fighter during the final round.
Harrison started slowly and actually found himself two points down after the first minute of the contest.
But one of his trademark flurries got him back on terms and he was never behind from thereon.
It was during the second round that he built up a significant lead and after shading a close but exciting third, Harrison cut away during the final stanza, with his win assured well before the final bell.
"It was tough, four fights in a week," said the colourful champion.
"I've had a little problem with my knuckle, which went on my second fight, but I kept it to myself and didn't tell anyone about it and I showed that I could still pull it out today.
"It was a comprehensive win. I was working well, there were lots of open targets and I knew I was always going to be catching him.
"It's a shame I had the bad hand or I would have taken him out."
Harrison, who received a message of good luck from world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis before the fight, was immediately congratulated by former Olympian and boxing great Evander Holyfield.
But he refused to expand on his future plans, despite estimates that he may be worth as much as £60m.
"The win is the most important thing. I'm a very happy man."
"I said it was my destiny and I proved I'm not just a man who can talk, I'm a man who can deliver the goods as well.
"I'm not going to make any plans now I'm just going to enjoy this moment. This is a special moment. This is the Olympic Games.
"Then I'm going to go away, get myself fixed up and you'll be hearing a lot more from Audley Harrison."
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