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Taylor Impresses in Boxing Debut

September 20, 2000|From Associated Press

Jermain Taylor needed only one big right hand to send a pair of messages.

One went to teammate Jeff Lacy, watching on TV in the athletes' village.

The other was silent, but understood by the rest of the 156-pound Olympic boxing division: This kid packs a wallop.

"That's what you call a knockout," Taylor said after making his Olympic debut a spectacular one with a right hand that sent Bulgaria's Dimitriy Usagin crumpling to the canvas in the first round Tuesday.

A day after Lacy won his first fight on the mercy rule after scoring two standing eight-counts, Taylor went out to try and do his teammate one better.

He had good reason to. He and Lacy have a $5 bet on who will get more knockouts, and Taylor figured this put him one up.

Actually, Taylor wasn't credited with a knockout. He instead was ruled the winner on head blows.

After getting dropped with 10 seconds left in the first round, Usagin made it to his feet and was staggering back to his corner when the fight was called.

Later, the U.S. boxing bandwagon continued to roll noisily along when Ricardo Williams Jr. became the ninth American to advance.

Williams fell behind, 3-0, to Australia's Henry Collins and was tied, 3-3, after one round. The 19-year-old Williams then proceeded to give the apprentice cabinetmaker a shellacking until the 139-pound bout was stopped in the fourth round on the 15-point rule, 21-5.

SAILING: Wind finally blew across the Olympic sailing courses, making it look like a real regatta.

American sailors responded by posting several strong finishes Wednesday in the busiest day of fleet racing on Sydney Harbor and the Pacific Ocean.

Soling skipper Jeff Madrigali, the 1996 bronze medalist, held the lead rounding two marks but was passed by Roy Heiner of the Netherlands and finished second.

BADMINTON: Kim Dong-moon's quest for a third Olympic badminton gold ended two victories short of the mark.

Kim and partner Ha Tae-kwon lost to the world's top-ranked duo, Tony Gunawan and Candra Wijaya of Indonesia, 15-3, 15-10, in the men's semifinals.

WOMEN'S FIELD HOCKEY: Zhou Wanfeng and Cheng Hui scored to help China take the lead in Pool D with a 2-1 upset victory over Germany.

WEIGHTLIFTING: Erzsebet Markus of Hungary set a world record in the snatch in 152-pound women's weightlifting with a lift of 247 3/4 pounds.

Markus broke the record of 245 1/2 pounds, set by 16-year-old Lui Dongping of China on July 6 at Prague.

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