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BOXING: No sweat for Kenny; SCOT BEATS SORT OF HEAT THAT DEFEATED SUGAR RAY.

Byline: BRIAN DONALD

KENNY ANDERSON has achieved something that was beyond American ring great Sugar Ray Robinson winning a title in 130-degree heat.

In June 1952 Robinson tried to add a world heavyweight title to his welterweight and middleweight crowns.

But in incredible 120-degree heat in New York he collapsed, swaying like a drunk in the ring, with heat exhaustion in the 13th round despite being miles ahead on points against defending champion Joey Maxim.

Yet in Seville in May on the night Celtic were losing the UEFA Cup Final a couple of miles away Scottish light heavyweight champion Anderson was winning a gold medal for his country in even more ferocious heat at the Spanish Box-Cup tournament.

Anderson the 22-year-old proud father of two infant boys said: ``The stadium where I had to fight the final wasn't airconditioned.

``It topped 132 degrees in the ring.

``But I still managed to drop my Korean opponent Kim-Il-Park twice before stopping him in the third round.

``Being Korean he was moreused to that kind of heat than I was but I was just determined to win for Scotland.

``My legs were like lead and the air I was breathing seemed to be microwaved but I just dug in.''

Success is nothing new to big puncher Anderson.

He won his first senior Scottish title at the Scottish Championships at Coatbridge in April by stopping Larkfield's Michael Ross in the third round.

Such performances have made Scottish national coach John McKay a big believer in the manfrom the Craigmillar club in Edinburgh.

And that prompted him to include Anderson in the Scots' pre-Olympic warm training squad in Cyprus last week.

Anderson said: ``John has told me I will be boxing for Scotland in Norway on January 2 and Denmark a few days later.

``I'm also in the frame for pre-Olympic qualifying bouts at the European Championships in Pula, Croatia, between February 19and March 1 2004 so next year's a big one for me.''

Craigmillar club official Billy Paterson said: ``We are behind Kenny 100 per cent.

``Not only does he have a good relationship with our club coaches Denholm Hendry, Gil Fernie and Mark Ingles but his achievements help inspire the 20 younger boxers in our club.

``They can see what Kenny has achieved could perhaps be possible for them one day with hard work.''

The respect is mutual. Anderson said: ``The coaches are working hard on making me as good a boxer as I am a puncher.

``They're a great team to have in my corner.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 26, 2003
Words:423
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