Olympic Shorts: They Shoulda Stood in Bed

They Shoulda Stood in Bed

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It was a dazed and daffy week in boxing. Typical of the confusion to come was the fate of Canadian featherweight Jamie Pagendam. On Sunday he was declared a loser on a technical knockout. On Monday he won a reversal because the Ivory Coast referee had miscounted knockdowns that should have disqualified his Mongolian adversary. On Tuesday the International Amateur Boxing Association ruled him unfit to fight further because he had taken too many blows to the head.

Meanwhile, time was running out in different ways for American boxers Anthony Hembrick and Kelcie Banks. Middleweight Hembrick, 22, captain of the U.S. team, missed a bus and never got a chance to fight. Featherweight Banks, 23, should have missed his; he got careless midway through the first round ^ against Regilio Tuur of the Netherlands, ran into a hard right hand and suffered a one-punch knockout that left him unconscious for a full three minutes. "I never saw it, didn't even feel it," Banks said after an overnight hospital stay.

Hembrick and U.S. coach Ken Adams tried to board a 10 a.m. shuttle bus from the Village to the gym. The bus was full, however, so they waited for the 10:30, thinking Hembrick's fight would not take place until after noon. But they had misread the schedule, and arrived at ringside just in time to see the referee raise South Korean Ha Jong-Ho's hand in victory. An appeal was denied. Said a stunned Hembrick: "I'll have an empty spot inside for a long time." Next day U.S. welterweight Kenneth Gould, 21, arrived at the gym three hours early and won his fight. By week's end he and nine teammates remained unbeaten, with good medal prospects.

The woolliest confrontation of the week took place after the final bell sounded in a bantamweight fight. When South Korea's Byun Jong-Il lost a narrow decision, his coach and trainers, along with several Korean boxing officials, poured through the ropes and pummeled New Zealand referee Keith Walker. Byun, for his part, protested the decision by refusing to leave the ring for 67 minutes. Byun and five Korean officials were suspended indefinitely, and President Kim Chong-ha of the Korean Olympic Committee resigned, taking "full responsibility" for the ruckus.