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Last Updated: Monday, 16 August, 2004, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
Khan wins opener
Amir Khan in action on Monday
Briton Amir Khan got his Olympic medal quest off to a great start, stopping Greek Marios Kaperonis in his lightweight boxing opener.

The 17-year-old took just three rounds to see off his opponent 32-12 in the Peristeri Boxing Hall on Monday.

He surged ahead on points in the second round before clinching the bout on the outclass rule in the next round.

Khan, Britain's youngest Olympian in Athens and only boxing representative, next faces Bulgarian Dimitar Stilianov.

Once I got going I put him under real pressure and he didn't like that
Amir Khan

The teenager overcame a nervous start to storm into the next stage of the tournament in Athens.

"I started off a little slowly but my coach (Terry Edwards) told me to settle down at the end of the first round," said Khan.

"I got into a rhythm and I felt quite good in the end."

Although level at 6-6 after the first round, he was in total charge in the second when a vicious left-right combination forced the 21-year-old Greek to take a standing count.

From that point onwards, victory seemed certain as the young medal hope was soon declared the winner when the referee stopped the fight midway through the third round, due to the Brit's 20-point lead.

"I knew that with the crowd behind him he would start fast but I also knew he would tire down and once I got going I put him under real pressure and he didn't like that," he added.

After the fight, former WBC super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall declared Khan was "as good if not better than Prince Naseem Hamed was at the same age".

"He's the best young prospect we've had for years," said the 1988 Olympic bronze medallist.

"At 17, a world junior champion able to produce a performance like that at the Olympics, he's as good if not better than (former WBO featherweight champion) Prince Naseem Hamed was at the same age."

Nevertheless, Woodhall believes Khan's next opponent, Stilianov, who eased into the second round with a 20-11 win over Selcuk Aydin of Turkey, will be a massive test.

"(Amir) is good enough to go all the way but he's in a very tough division and his next bout will be tough."





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