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Hooper Says Risk Was Worth it For Aboriginal Culture

LONDON - Australian boxer Damien Hooper said it was worth the risk of getting into trouble with officials on Monday when he wore a t-shirt bearing the Aboriginal flag to the ring before his first round win.

The exciting light-heavyweight, no stranger to controversy having been sent home from the 2010 Commonwealth Games and a recent training camp for bad behavior, said he was proud to represent the indigenous Australian culture.

"Well what do you reckon? I'm Aboriginal, I'm representing my culture, not only my country but all of my people as well," Hooper told reporters when asked why he wore the t-shirt.

"I'm very proud and that's what I wanted to do and yeah, I'm happy I did it.

"I was just thinking about my family and that's what really matters to me and look what it did, it made my whole performance better with that support behind me."

"I'm not saying that I don't care (about possibly getting into trouble), I'm just saying I'm very proud of what I did."

The Australian Olympic Committee said it would "counsel" Hooper on the rules of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as to the symbols, flags and political messages you can or cannot carry into an Olympic venue.

In the ring, Hooper certainly needed something to spur him on when he found himself trailing American Marcus Browne by a point after two rounds, and the 20-year-old world number two stepped it up in the final round, pressuring Browne into a standing eight count on his way to a deserved 13-11 victory.

Hooper, the third Australian to progress to the second round and regarded as the country's best chance of a first boxing medal since 1988, faces former world amateur heavyweight champion Egor Mekhontcev of Russia in Saturday's next round.

A rematch with current world light-heavyweight champion Julio la Cruz Peraza, the Cuban who narrowly knocked Hooper out of last year's world championships in Baku, could await two rounds later in the semi-finals.

"I thought I would have been a lot sharper but he was a good opponent and he wasn't going to let me just walk straight over him which I did in the last round," the multi-tattooed Hooper said of his performance.

"(In the third round) I was tricking and fading and throwing all these punches, I could see it in his eyes and in his body language that he didn't want to be there."

Tags: Amateur Boxing image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by 2shameless on 08-01-2012

[QUOTE=Nodogoshi;12388636]Okay, if that is your position.[/QUOTE] That the Olympics has always been nationalistic in nature? That's more than my position, it's indisputable fact. Ever since the Ancient Greeks used the games to help avert war. [QUOTE]Now, feel free to lay…

Comment by Virgil Caine on 08-01-2012

[QUOTE=D4thincarnation;12390969]Just more accusations, still no evidence.[/QUOTE] I gotta admit, I've been catching a number of BBC streams, and the British broadcasts aren't nearly as bad as the US broadcasts. I don't know what you want from me, but I've watched…

Comment by D4thincarnation on 08-01-2012

[QUOTE=Nodogoshi;12390898]All the jingoism.[/QUOTE] Just more accusations, still no evidence.

Comment by winky's right on 08-01-2012

[QUOTE=ksan;12386572]Also [URL=""][/URL][/QUOTE] nice the guy working the pads with him used to be my trainer. war hooper!

Comment by Virgil Caine on 08-01-2012

[QUOTE=D4thincarnation;12390834]Still waiting for you to cite examples to cite your case.[/QUOTE] All the jingoism.

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