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Kindelan dashes Khan's title hopes

Kindelan is unbeaten since the Pan American Games of 1999
Mario Kindelan
Olympics 2004
Amir Khan

ATHENS, Greece -- Defending champion Mario Kindelan of Cuba gave 17-year-old Amir Khan of Britain a boxing lesson in Sunday's Olympic lightweight (60kg) final.

The 17-year-old Khan, bidding to become the youngest gold medal winner since Floyd Patterson won the middleweight title in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, gave everything but came up short against the best lightweight in the world, amateur or professional.

Kindelan has won every tournament he has entered since the Pan American Games of 1999.

His successes include Olympic gold in Sydney and three world titles.

Khan showed no fear, tracking the 33-year-old three-time world champion from the bell to win the first round 4-3.

The composed Cuban kept dancing out of distance and his sharp counter-punching gave him a 14-9 lead after two rounds.

Khan was still unable to get close and left himself a huge eight point deficit, 14-22, to make up in the fourth.

He chased the Cuban around the ring, trying to land his big right, but was relentlessly picked off by a man who has been fighting for 19 years.

British promoter Frank Warren has told British newspapers Khan might quit the amateur scene after the 2005 world championships in Beijing and 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.

But Khan said on Friday he wanted to go to Beijing for the Olympics in 2008.

"Reaching the final there is my dream. I've got a good family and personal coach backing me up, and they know the best for me," he said.

He would be just 21 in 2008 and ready to assume Kindelan's mantle.

Turkish sensation

Yan Bhartelemy of Cuba also fought off a brave 17-year-old in Turkish sensation Atagun Yalcinkaya in the light flyweight (48kg) division.

The 24-year-old Bhartelemy, 2001 world champion, was behind after the first round but his crisper punching made the difference from the second although Yalcinkaya fought back gamely in the fourth.

Bhartelemy said he would defend his title at Beijing in 2008. "My aim is to win more Olympic medals."

Guillermo Rigondeaux earned another Cuban gold when he defended his bantamweight title by easily outpointing Thailand's Worapoj Petchkoom.

Egypt's super-heavyweight Mohamed Aly withdrew from his final after failing a pre-fight medical.

Russian Alexander Povetkin was awarded the gold medal.

Officials said that Aly's problem was not drug-related but his lack of fitness was not explained.

Aly produced one of the greatest upsets of the Olympic boxing semi-finals on Friday by outpointing Cuban Michel Lopez.

The massive 29-year-old, who won a 18-16 decision after a slugging contest, became the first Egyptian to reach an Olympic boxing final.

Lopez was the only Cuban out of their eight boxers in semifinal action not to advance to the finals.

Lorenzo Aragon was unable to give the Cubans another gold when he was beaten by Kazakhstan's Bakhtiyar Artayev in the welterweight final.

Artayev, who defeated double Olympic gold medallist Oleg Saitov of Russia in the semifinals, won 36-26 after a fierce contest.

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