Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Damien Hooper Receives Stern Warning Over Flag Beef

He did it for his people, but officials are warning Australian boxer Damien Hooper not to repeat his entry to the Olympic ring with the Aboriginal flag proudly emblazoned across his chest.

Hooper, an Indigenous Australian from northern Queensland, marked his Games debut by wearing a black T-shirt bearing the Aboriginal flag as he arrived for his impressive opening fight win against American Marcus Browne.

It went against Australian team rules, which state athletes must only wear the official team uniform.

But it's the fear of further sanctions from the International Olympic Committee, which frowns upon political statements, that prompted Australian Olympic team officials to halt the practice ahead of his second round fight against Russian Egor Mekhontcev.

"We will talk to Damien and counsel him against doing it again," Australian team media director Mike Tancred said.

"He intends to apologise to (Australian team chef de mission) Nick Green for his actions but there is the potential for the IOC to look at this incident as a possible breach of the Olympic Charter and they could take action."

IOC spokeswoman Emmanuelle Moreau said the IOC had been informed of the incident by the Australians.

"The AOC is handling the matter and is in touch with the athlete," she said. "At the moment it is in their hands. We'll leave it with them for the moment."

After beating Browne with a brutal third round onslaught, Hooper seemed unperturbed by the potential trouble his sartorial gesture could bring.

"What do you reckon? I'm Aboriginal, I'm representing my culture, not only my country but all my people as well," said Hooper of his motive for wearing the T-shirt.

"That's what I wanted to do and I'm happy I did it.

"I was just thinking about my family and that's what really matters to me.

"Look what it just did - it just made my whole performance a lot better with that whole support behind me.

"I'm not saying that at all that I don't care (about a possible sanction), I'm just saying that I'm very proud of what I did."

His action had echoes of the Cathy Freeman-Arthur Tunstall controversy 18 years earlier.

Freeman marked her coming of age as an athlete in 1994 by celebrating her 200m Commonwealth Games gold with a victory lap in which she carried both the Australian and Aboriginal flags.

Despite strong criticism from Australian team chef de mission Tunstall, Freeman repeated the act after winning the 400m - and again following her memorable gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The IOC charter prevents political statements at the Games, but Hooper - considered Australia's best chance of a boxing medal since Graham `Spike' Cheney won silver in 1988 - has never been one for officialdom.

He was sent home early from the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games for misbehaviour, while his Olympic build-up was hampered when he was sent packing from a team camp following a run-in with coach Don Abnett.

What was clear after Monday's performance against Browne is that Hooper has the tools to possibly end Australian boxing's gold medal drought.

He was surprisingly conservative early - and trailed 6-5 after two rounds - before exploding with a flurry of punches in the last, including one to the chin of Browne which resulted in a standing eight count.

"I could see it in his eyes and his body language that he didn't want to be there," Hooper said. "I was down a point, so I was a bit desperate."

Tags: Amateur Boxing image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by fatmash on 07-31-2012

Indigenous Australian my arse hes more euro trash than i am !

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (1)
Top Headlines Marriaga Confident of Win: Oscar Valdez is Not Out of This World Golovkin's Coach Has NO Issue With Jacobs Missing IBF Weigh-In De La Hoya Cautions: Canelo Can Not Lose To a Countryman Ricardo Mayorga Ready For Action, Has One Eye on Margarito Klitschko Would Want Farewell Fight at Olimpiyskiy in Ukraine De La Hoya To Mayweather: Forget McGregor, Fight Canelo at 160 DeGale: I Can Fight Gennady Golovkin at 160, Andre Ward at 175 Photos: Barthelemy-Blanco, Hernandez-Davis - Official Weigh-in Katie Taylor Wants Women's Boxing To Have Three Minute Rounds Linares: I'd Love To Face Mikey Garcia in Las Vegas, LA, Anywhere Michael Devine Announces Retirement From Boxing Ohara Davies: Mayweather Advised TMT Boxers To Avoid Me Javier Fortuna Extends Pact With Sampson Boxing Hasim Rahman Jr. Pro Debut Pushed Back To April 14 Jean Pascal To Nick Diaz: You Coward, Don't Talk Sh*t - Fight Me! Lemieux vs. Reyes, Diaz vs. Avila Added To Canelo-Chavez Saunders To Golovkin: If You Have a Pair of Balls, Sign The Contract! Team GB Release Four Fighters: Bateson, Cameron, Marshall, Davies Hearn: Crolla Should Get at Least 1 Million For Flanagan Bout Porter Thinks Chavez Won't Be an Easy Fight For Canelo Lemieux May Land on Canelo-Chavez, Future Foe For Canelo? Okolie on Burns vs. Indongo: Great To Be On Another Big Bill Golden Boy's Diaz: I Felt Jacobs Beat Golovkin, Canelo Will Too! Jorge Linares vs. Anthony Crolla II: Post-Fight Report Card Langford: If No Golovkin Deal, Saunders Will Have To Face Me! Josh Taylor Impressed With Recent Win, Expects a Big Future Hearn: Eubank Contacted Me For Bellew Catch-Weight Fight! Liam Smith vs. Liam Williams: Jimmy Kilrain Kelly Breaks it Down Keenan Smith Tops Card in Atlantic City on April 22 Buster Douglas: Pacquiao Would Beat Mayweather, Maybe By KO Kyotara Fujimoto vs. Herman Ene-Purcell in Play For May Boxing's Pound For Pound Debate Is Tougher Than Ever Golovkin's Coach Fires Back at Kell Brook, Ingle Over Fight Claims Evander Holyfield vs. Lagos Politician - Exhibition Fight on May 25 Photos: Yvan Mendy Gets Win Before Near Empty Venue Ray Robinson Stops Claudinei Lacerda in Seven Rounds Golovkin's Coach Reacts To 'Keyboard Judges' Saying Jacobs Won Kovalev Shreds Ward: My Goal is To Knock Him Out! Hunter Says Andre Ward Can Still Make 168 For Golovkin Fight Murat Gassiev To Make First Defense in May or June
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement