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Last Updated: Sunday, 29 August, 2004, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Kindelan ends Khan dream
LIGHTWEIGHT FINAL
Amir Khan (left) with Mario Kindelan
Britain's Amir Khan won boxing silver after losing 30-22 to Cuban Mario Kindelan in the lightweight final.

The 17-year-old, looking to become the youngest Olympic champion since Floyd Patterson in 1952, took the first round by a point after a cagey opening.

But Kindelan established his dominance in round two, picking off the teenager with supreme counter attacks.

Although Khan closed out in typical aggressive style, he could not stop the Cuban winning a third straight title.

Khan showed no signs of nerves entering the ring to massive support from British fans in the crowd.

It's a shame I didn't beat him, but I tried my best
Amir Khan

And he outpunched the division's number one boxer early, before Kindelan started to pick him off.

Khan bounced back to take a share of the final round, stalking his 33-year-old opponent around the ring with menace.

But the damage had already been down by southpaw Kindelan, who now plans to retire unbeaten.

"He's the best boxer I've seen in a long time," said Khan of the Cuban champion.

"It's a shame I didn't beat him, but I tried my best.

"It's been a brilliant two weeks, what I expected, and I won a medal for Great Britain.

"Maybe next Olympics, I'll get the gold medal," said Khan, who pledged to stay amateur until the Beijing Games in 2008.

Sitting at ringside, three-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield paid tribute to the Bolton youngster's ability.

"It was a great performance - he's got huge potential," said Holyfield.

"How do you expect a 17-year-old to fight that great. He was up against the best."

Holyfield said Khan would be well served staying amateur for four more years.

"He is a very mature 17, but 21 is a great age. I truly believe if you don't rush people in, their chances are better."





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