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20.05.2004 Sports News

I lost, but I was not beaten - Agbeko

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Accra, May 20, GNA - Joseph "King Kong" Agbeko, Ghana's bantamweight boxer who lost in a World Boxing Association (WBA) International title fight in Germany on Tuesday has appealed to his fans to remain steadfast because he was still capable of achieving his dream of becoming a world champion.

In a telephone conversation with the GNA Sports from London on Thursday, the Ghanaian boxer said though he lost the fight and the chance to bring home a world title belt, he was not beaten, neither was he disgraced.

"It was a very close fight and the decision could have gone either way but Wladimir Sidonrenko had it because he was fighting in his home and it is a common thing in boxing."

Agbeko praised his opponent who he described as "a very tough and experienced boxer" and lauded him for his skills and durability but said he would like to meet him again at a different venue for an appellate settlement as to who the better of the two is.

He said though he would not like to offer excuses and sing the robbery song, he felt he had worked hard enough to deserve a better verdict despite the fact that he had a problem with his right hand early in the fight.

"I don't mean to take the credit away from Wladimir but I am sure if I hadn't had trouble with my right hand early in the fight, I could have asserted myself more emphatically and the result would not have been in any doubt."

He said he was told by some of his friends who watched the fight live on Euro Sport that the scorecards displayed by the TV network after each round gave him nine rounds as against three to his opponent. Agbeko said instead of crying over spilt milk, he would like to forge ahead and win his next fight convincingly to show the world that the loss to Sidonrenko was a fluke.

"I have been offered a Commonwealth title fight in September and there are plans to pitch me against John Armoui for the World Boxing Union (WBU) title fight and I'll have to return home and prepare for those fights, he said.

Agbeko who went into the title fight against Sidonrenko with a fight record of 22 victories in as many fights lost, as two of the judges awarded the fight to the Ukrainian while the third scored it even.

He is expected to return home next week. 20 May 04

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