Boxing: James breaks medal drought
Thursday 26 August 1999
James' feat in outscoring Italy's European champion, Giacobbe Fragomeni, gives Britain their first medal in the 25-year history of the championships, although Ireland have won four bronzes.
But James must climb a mountain in today's semi-final when he tackles the formidable Cuban Felix Savon, who has won the gold medal in the previous six championships stretching back to Reno in 1986, in addition to landing the last two Olympic 91kg titles.
Otherwise it was all gloom for British boxers. The big medal hope Audley Harrison lost his second bout and England's light-middle Chris Bessey was beaten, as was the Scottish featherweight Alex Arthur.
James, a 22-year-old from Carmarthen, outscored Fragomeni by 9-7, but it was a debatable decision which received a mixed reception from the crowd. The Welshman, now the only Briton left in the tournament, was on the receiving end in the fourth, but managed to hold on to his narrow verdict.
Harrison, a 6ft 5in, 18st 7lb medal prospect for the Sydney Olympics, went down 4-3 against Turkey's Siren Samil, ring-rustiness catching up with the Repton super-heavyweight, who intends to turn professional after the Sydney Olympics.
Harrison's one bout since winning the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur 11 months ago was in these championships. A hernia operation has kept him out of the ring since.
He said: "I'm not making any excuses, I know I am still learning at this level. I'd set my goals on a medal and I was two clean punches from that. However, I feel I'm still on course to win gold in Sydney."
Edinburgh's Arthur lost 5-1 to the local boy Ricardo Juarez in his third bout. The Scottish stylist needed to keep the American body puncher at long range, but the Commonwealth champion felt the pace after a tough bout in the previous round against Australia's non-stop James Swann.
Bessey, a European bronze medallist and five-times ABA champion, put on a brave show against Romania's Marin Simion. But the Portsmouth soldier was beaten by the wide margin of 13-2.
The Matchroom promoter Barry Hearn wants to stage a WBO featherweight re-match between Naseem Hamed and his predecessor as champion, Steve Robinson, at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff next summer.
Hearn, in Cardiff to publicise Robinson's European defence against the French champion Claude Chinon at the International Arena on 2 October, expects the local man to become Hamed's mandatory challenger in the next few weeks. Hearn said: "The Mexican currently ranked number one, Juan Manuel Marquez, is due to fight for the WBA version, so, according to the WBO rules, Steve should move up from number two."
Latest in Sport
World Cup 2014: Neymar's agent launches scathing attack on Brazil's Luis Felipe Scolari, labelling him 'an old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous'
Brazil vs Germany match report World Cup 2014: Utter humiliation for hosts as Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos help Germany hit seven past Selecao
Angel di Maria: Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal 'monitoring' Real Madrid winger
World Cup 2014: The 50 best players of the World Cup
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
- 3 Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: In defence of Mesut Ozil - the Arsenal midfielder works magic in the shadows
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 5 Tony Abbott embarrasses Australia by praising Japanese WWII military, ‘getting on the sake’ and posing for ‘crotch-shot’ photo opportunity
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...