11 August 2008 – by Mark Doyle
Irelands Kenneth Egan is being heavily tipped to claim a medal in the light-heavyweight division but the Dubliner is remaining grounded.
Egan kicked off his Olympic campaign with an impressive 22-2 victory over Julius Jackson on Saturday and, because he is in the weaker half of the draw, is now in with a real chance of reaching the last four.
However, Egan, wisely, is not getting ahead of himself after one decent performance.
Its one fight at a time and one round at a time. Im not getting carried away. This is the Olympics, but I am treating it the same as every other tournament, he explained.
I know how big it is, but the ring is the same size as the ring at the Nationl Stadium [in Dublin]. Once you get inside those ropes its just you, your opponent and the referee.
That’s the way you have to think. It’s the Olympics, sure. But it’s just another fight. It’s all about the win, the ‘W’ after your name.”
However, while Egan is keeping a lid on his enthusiasm, his next opponent is not.
Indeed, Bahram Muzaffer, whom Egan meets on Thursday, was more than a little enthused by his victory over Ali Aziz.
“I’m the best fighter at these Olympics and you can tell your guy that,” he proclaimed to the Irish media.
I am the tallest fighter in this weight division and I am the best. I will prove that by winning the gold medal.
However, Ireland team coach Billy Walsh was nonplussed after hearing of Muzaffers boast.
Thats fair enough if he thinks he is the best fighter here. I hope he keeps thinking that. We might change his mind for him, he said.
To be fair to him, the Turks not bad. I watched him this morning myself on the video and he is pretty handy.
Looking at him, I thought he is a threat. If Kenny does not bring the head and the performance to the tale next Thursday, there is a possibility he could be overturned.
But if he brings his game plan and his talent to the ring in full, I think he will have a good chance.