14 August 2008 – by Mark Doyle
Irelands Kenny Egan is within one victory of an Olympic medal after outclassing Turkey’s Bahram Muzaffer in a last 16 light-heavyweight clash in Beijing on Thursday.
Muzaffer proclaimed himself the best fighter in the division earlier this week but, despite scoring the first point in this bout, he simply could not cope with the superb counter-attacking skills of Egan.
The 26-year-old Dubliner quickly settled into his rhythm and led 2-1 after a relatively tight and cagey opening round.
By the halfway point, he was in complete command and four points clear after some more effective punching on the back foot.
Egan was calm and composed in the face of Muzaffers increasingly wild and desperate attacks, and the Neilstown native scored freely in the third.
Indeed, he went into the final round 9-2 up. Muzaffer charged forward wildly but never looked remotely like landing on his elusive Irish foe.
He only left himself even more exposed to Egans fast hands and Muzaffer was given a standing-eight count after being caught flush on the chin by a superbly-timed shot from the Irish captain.
Muzaffer saw out the round but was left looking more than a little embarrassed as the final bell sounded and the final score read 10-2 in his opponent’s favour.
Egan, by contrast, was ecstatic, his joy manifesting itself in a two-handed ‘six-gun salute’, and he will now face Brazils Washington Silva for a place in the last four and a bronze medal – brimming with self-belief.