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Boxing heroes

Audley Harrison - England   Audley Harrison - England
Kuala Lumpur - 1998

Boxing fans will remember Audley for his more recent Olympic gold and his progression into the ranks of professional boxing. At the Kuala Lumpur games he picked up the super heavyweight gold after a row with the boxing authorities.

Harrison was ordered to wear new gloves for the fight, but they were too tight for the boxer's giant fists. In a fit of anger, Harrison entered the ring and knocked out his opponent Michael Macaque with a mighty left in just 65 seconds.

Mike McCallum - Jamaica   Mike McCallum - Jamaica
Edmonton - 1978

This tough Jamaican carried off a Commonwealth gold in Edmonton (which without doubt was the Games that launched the professional careers of some of the best boxers of recent times.)

Known as 'the Bodysnatcher' McCallum took an amateur record of 240 wins and just 10 defeats into the professional ranks after his success at welterweight level at the Games. He then went on to win several IBF and world titles in the middleweight and light-heavyweight divisions.

Lennox Lewis - Canada   Lennox Lewis - Canada
Edinburgh - 1986

Back in 1986 an unknown super-heavyweight stepped into the ring, fighting in the colours of Canada. Lennox Claudius Lewis, born in West Ham, England blasted his way to Commonwealth gold under the banner of the maple leaf.

Two years before at the Los Angeles Olympics, he's fallen at the second stage to American Tyrell Biggs. Two years after his Falkirk Commonwealth success, he was collecting gold at the Seoul Olympics.

After turning pro, and switching his allegiance to the country of his birth, Lennox dismantled the world heavyweight division and became the first boxer to unify the titles since Iron Mike Tyson 10 years before him.

Azumah Nelson - Ghana   Azumah Nelson - Ghana
Edmonton - 1978

Known in boxing circles as 'The Professor' because of his ability to teach his opponents a boxing lesson, Nelson picked up gold in the featherweight division at the Edmonton games in 1978.

After this success he turned professional and within 10 fights he was the holder of the Ghanaian, African and Commonwealth belts. His craft and power still see him widely regarded as the greatest fighter to ever emerge from the African continent.

Barry McGuigan - Northern Ireland   Barry McGuigan - Northern Ireland
Edmonton - 1978

While Azumah Nelson was collecting gold in the featherweight category a tough young Northern Irishman was making his mark in the Bantamweight class. Barry McGuigan was just 17, and the youngest member of the Northern Irish boxing team in Edmonton when he won the gold.

On the medal podium the man who came to be known as the 'Clones Cyclone' wept tears of joy as he collected his prize and he became an instant hero back in his troubled homeland, after which he went on to become a hero to boxing fans across the British Isles with a world-title winning career.

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