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EVANS IS OUT TO STRIKE GOLD.

Byline: By GARETH GRIFFITHS South Wales Echo

Wales boxing giant Kevin Evans will finally have the chance to go for Commonwealth Games gold when he steps into the ring for the super heavyweight final tomorrow morning.

The Carmarthen boxer, who stopped Australian Steven Rudic in the third round of the semi-final at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre yesterday, has claimed two bronzes at the last two games in Kuala Lumpur and Manchester.

But now Evans has gone one step further in Australia and is looking for that gold medal that has proved so elusive in his career.

'It's an amazing feeling to get to the final,' said Evans.

'I've got loads of bronze medals in my cabinet and it will be nice to have a different colour in there.'

Evans, who was controversially forced to retire in the 2002 semi-final in Manchester because of a bloody nose, almost had a sense of dAje vu when the doctor inspected him three times yesterday.

'I couldn't believe it,' admitted the 28-year-old.

'It was like a scene from a horror film. I saw the doctor coming over again and thought, 'No this can't be happening surely'.

'I felt a thumb go into my eye and thought I'd got something like a detached retina for a moment.

'I couldn't see out of it and I started panicking a bit.

'The doctor looked at my eye the first time, and then my nose, so I didn't know what mess was on my face.

'I thought I'd better speed it up in case something was going to happen.

'I couldn't risk losing again like I did in Manchester.

'I just had to go for it and upped it.

'The corner was keeping me informed of the points situation and I just had to keep pumping away to get 20 points in front.'

The man now standing in Evans' way is Englishman David Price who dramatically stopped Indian Varghese Johnson with 12 seconds remaining in the final round on the three stoppages in a round rule.

This was despite Price being four points down and after the Englishman had been knocked down three times in the bout.

Evans has never lost to Price and is hoping he can maintain his 100 per cent record.

'I've met him twice before - and beaten him twice,' said Evans.

'But they were close fights, by one or two points.

'He's improved a lot since then, but so have I, so it will be an interesting encounter.'

Evans was the only one of four Welsh boxers to win a semi-final after Mo Nazir, Jamie Crees and Darren Edwards had to be content with bronze medals after all losing to English fighters.

But the super-heavyweight insisted he did not feel any weight on his shoulders when stepping into the ring.

'I didn't feel the pressure at all because we've all achieved to get this far,' said Evans.

'So I just had to relax and do my job because I knew I could beat the fella.'
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 24, 2006
Words:501
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