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Sports News of Monday, 18 September 2000

Source: Graphic

Sydney2000: Raymond Narh in good start

Raymond Narh gave Ghana boxing a great start to the Sydney Olympics last night with a devastating non-stop punching performance against his outclassed East Timori opponent Victor Ramos.

Indeed so outgunned in this one-sided bout was Ramos that the pounding was mercifully halted at 1 min. 37 sec mark of the second of the scheduled four-rounder.

Right from the first bell it was obvious that Ramos,who was fighting under the IOC flag,would be no match for Narh. The Ghanaian looked bigger and had a tremendous height and reach advantage that gave the impression that this would be a mismatch. And that was exactly what it turned out to be as the 1998 Commonwealth gold medallist swarmed over his opponent to pile a 12-0 score at the end of round one. The pattern was similar at the start of the second round and as the score quickly reached 15-0, the referee quickly stepped in to save Ramos from further punishment.

"This is the beginning of great things for me at these games. I know it is too early yet but I'm in such devastating form that my goal is to win Ghana's first(Olympic) gold medal. Tell Ghanaians to pray for me and my mates and we won't disappoint them.I have been dreaming about getting such an opportunity since the day I first put on a pair of gloves," Raymond said after the awesome performance.

Narh's next opponent will be Ukraine's Andriv Kotelnyk who earned a fourth round stoppage over Larry Semillano of Philipines. The bout was halted 0.27 sec into the round when it was clear that the Filipino was no match for his opponent.

Ringsiders immediately began talking about the Narh-Kotelnyk match-up which promises to be one of the highlights of the second round on Friday. Narh who didn't watch the Ukrainian was not worried about the prospect of meeting Kotelkyn."I don't really bother about my opponents,even though we will watch the casette of his last fight.The training in Cuba was for only one month but it has improved my skills and boosted my confidence so much that they can bring on any opponent and I'll be ready for him,"the Ghanaian spoke with the confidence of a Muhammad Ali.

The next Ghana boxer to mount the ring will be Adama Osumanu who fights Tunisia's Mohamed Salah Marmouri tomorrow (Tuesday). It is hoped he would be inspired by Narh's confident outing, just as Ben Neequaye and Charles Adamu, both of whom will be in action on Wednesday, will surely be. Neequaye takes on Kenya's Fredric Munga Kinuthia while Adamu faces Courtney Fry of Britain.

Meanwhile,James Toney appears still as confused as the day he inexplicably blew his opportunity to participate in the Olympics by not presenting himself at the weigh-in. In an interview yesterday, a distressed Toney was totally incoherent as he tried to tell what happened to him.

Investigations have, however, revealed that his problem could have been caused by his inability to comprehend something the doctor conducting the medical examination told him. According to sources, the doctor had asked Toney to rest for 30 minutes and return for the examination.Instead, the boxer stepped out to inform the Ghanaian officials that everything was okay.After waiting for 30 minutes, the doctor declared Toney medically unfit, said the sources.