Boxing: Langleys miss twin peaks

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The Independent Online

Darran Langley and his twin Stewart narrowly failed to achieve a unique sporting first last night at the Amateur Boxing Association championships when Stewart lost on points in the flyweight final.

Just two hours before the boxing was due to start at the Metrodome in Barnsley, Darran discovered that his opponent in the final, Michael Robb, had been forced to withdraw with a cold. He therefore was awarded the light-flyweight title on a walkover to complete the first part of the double.

However, Stewart, who is five minutes younger than Darran, lost a close and disputed points decision to Duncan Barriball, from the army, in a fight that had few highlights and was often too scrappy. Stewart had started as a clear favourite because 18 months ago he stopped Barriball.

"I am happy that I have got my first senior title and now look forward to the Commonwealth Games," said Darran.

"I wish I could have won the title in the ring but my main disappointment is that my brother has lost."

The twins, who are 20, have been boxing for 10 years at the Hollington club in south-east London and last night's opportunity to make history by coming the first twins to win titles would have been a major boost for the club. Both boxers are determined to stay amateur until the Olympics in 2004 when they will be 22.

As expected the bout of the night was the lightweight contest between Karmand's Fehineola and Manchester's Andy Morris. The bout was in many ways an unofficial eliminator for a place in England's Commonwealth Games team and when it was over after four brilliant rounds Morris was a narrow points winner.

The super-middleweight Oscar De La Hoya has pulled out of his 4 May fight with Fernando Vargas after a doctor advised the World Boxing Council champion to rest a hand he injured in sparring last week. Promoters said they would try to reschedule the much-anticipated bout for 14 September, but had no immediate agreement. The former Olympic gold medalist has not fought since winning the WBC title from Javier Castillejo on 23 June.

It was the second time that Vargas had what he thought was a date in the ring with De La Hoya postponed. De La Hoya was due to face Vargas on 8 December, but withdrew that offer and later agreed to the May date.