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Boxing: YOU'VE BEEN MUHAMMERED; COMMONWEALTH GAMES SPECIAL... Ali and Braveheart drive battling Scot Ken to brink of gold.

Byline: By David McCarthy

KENNY ANDERSON blasted into the light-heavyweight final by dismantling Aussie hope Ben McEachran inside two rounds thanks to a little help from Mel Gibson and Muhammad Ali.

The Scotland boxing team captain used Braveheart and a quote from Ali as inspiration to stop a man who was psyched out even before he entered the ring.

Anderson battered the Aussie in the opening round to open up a 10-1 lead and continued his assault in the second and with 13 seconds left he moved into a 21-2 lead, which meant an automatic stoppage.

The 24-year-old punched the air - the only time he missed McEachran all night - and later insisted he knew he'd win before stepping foot inside the ring.

He said: "I intimidated Ben. I felt stronger and faster and believed I had more ability. I overwhelmed him psychologically.

"When we were waiting to come into the ring we were standing together and he wouldn't look me in the eye. I looked at him but he was looking at his feet.

"He was scared - he knew what was coming.

"I imposed myself right from the start because I've seen some of the other fights involving Aussies and the scoring has been dubious because they have the home crowd behind them.

"I had to start hard and fast and get the points racked up. The first round was the most important and I had to get it right. I did that.

"I had a big lead but there was no thought of trying to protect it. If you do something right you are better keeping on doing it. I'm fit enough to do that for four rounds solid. If I can end a fight early I will."

Anderson has watched Braveheart before every bout and didn't change his routine. But reading an Ali quote made him even more up for battle.

He added: "I've watched it four times - before every fight - and I'll watch it again on Saturday before the final. It always gets the heart going.

"It wells me right up, as does watching the haka. I now read the words they chant and that inspires me.

"I've got quotes on the wall from Muhammad Ali as well. The one that sticks in my mind is, 'You've got to have the skill but the will has to be stronger than the skill'. That's right. You have to want it more than the other guy."

Anderson fights Nigerian Adura Olalehin in the final and while the African will be treated with respect, the Scot should win if he maintains the level of intensity and ability he's displayed this week.

He said: "I'm going for gold 100 per cent. No one is taking that away from me. I've left my family back home and I've been away from them a lot this year.

"I've missed my kids and their birthdays so there's no way I've made those sacrifices just to go home with silver.

"My wife Lisa is expecting our third child soon. The fight with Ben wasn't very stressful so that should have made sure she didn't go into labour. Hopefully, the final won't be tight either.

"She gets anxious before every fight but she likes to watch them and gets up in the middle of the night to do so. She says not knowing what has happened would drive her round the bend.

"When you've got your family behind you back home and know they are all right it settles my mind and makes me feel better.

"Now I'm ready to go again. Olalehin looks a formidable opponent and it looks a tough ask but no matter who you are up against, fights are hard to win.

"I haven't seen much of him because I was concentrating on the Aussie but we've got great video analysis here and we will study his previous fights meticulously."

CAPTION(S):

SPECIAL K: Kenny Anderson rains blows on shattered McEachran
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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 24, 2006
Words:659
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